Morace, Robert A. The Dialogic Novels of Malcolm Bradbury and David Lodge.

Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 1989.

Crosscurrents/Modern Critiques/Third Series Jerome Klinkowitz Preface Acknowledgments 1 Critical Assumptions 2 Eating People Is Wrong: Yes or No? 3 Stepping Westward: Dangerous Pilgrimages 4 The History Man: Engulfed by Sand 5 Rates of Exchange: The Liberal Novelist's Quarrel with the French Algebraists 6 The Picturegoers, Ginger, You're Barmy, and the Art of Narrative Doubling 7 The British Museum Is Falling Down: or, Up from Realism 8 Out of the Shelter and the Problem of Literary Recidivism 9 Changing Places: Narrative Doublings Redux 10 How Far Can You Go?: How Far Has Lodge Gone? -ix11A Small [Carnivalized] World 191 Works 21 Cited 1 21 Index 8 -xxi xiii xix 1 30 44 6 86 109 132 142 156 172

Crosscurrents/ Modern Critiques Third Series
IN THE EARLY 1960s, when the Crosscurrents/Modern Critiques series was developed by Harry T. Moore, the contemporary period was still a controversial one for scholarship. Even today the elusive sense of the present dares critics to rise above mere impressionalism and to approach their subject with the same rigors of discipline expected in more traditional areas of study. As the first two series of Crosscurrents, books demonstrated, critiquing contemporary culture often means that the writer must be historian, philosopher, sociologist, and bibliographer as well as literary critic, for in many cases these essential preliminary tasks are yet undone.

To the challenges that faced the initial Crosscurrents project have been added those unique to the past two decades: the disruption of conventional techniques by the great surge in innovative writing in the American 1960s just when social and political conditions were being radically transformed, the new worldwide interest in the Magic Realism of South American novelists, the startling experiments of textual and aural poetry from Europe, the emergence of Third World authors, the -xirising cause of feminism in life and literature, and, most dramatically, the introduction of Continental theory into the previously staid world of Anglo-American literary scholarship. These transformations demand that many traditional treatments be rethought, and part of the new responsibility for Crosscurrents will be to provide such studies. Contributions to Crosscurrents/Modern Critiques/Third Series will be distinguished by their fresh approaches to established topics and by their opening up of new territories for discourse. When a single author is studied, we hope to present the first book on his or her work or to explore a previously untreated aspect based on new research. Writers who have been critiqued well elsewhere will be studied in comparison with lesser-known figures, sometimes from other cultures, in an effort to broaden our base of understanding. Critical and theoretical works by leading novelists, poets, and dramatists will have a home in Crosscurrents/Modern Critiques/Third Series, as will sampler-introductions to the best in new Americanist criticism written abroad. The excitement of contemporary studies is that all of its critical practitioners and most of their subjects are alive and working at the same time. One work influences another, bringing to the field a spirit of competition and cooperation that reaches an intensity rarely found in other disciplines. Above all, this third series of Crosscurrents/Modern Critiques will be collegial -- a mutual interest in the present moment that can be shared by writer, subject, and reader alike. Jerome Klinkowitz -xii-

HOW FAR CAN the contemporary novelist go in a small world in which the rate of exchange is no longer fixed, a world in which narrative verities have turned into narrative possibilities? I take this question, which in a world of folio volumes I might also take as my title, from five works -three of fiction, two of criticism -- by Malcolm Bradbury and David Lodge. The conflation is significant for the simple reason that their works are themselves conflations -- or more accurately dialogues -- involving various and often conflicting views, styles, and forms which when taken together form a map of the contemporary novel and, more importantly, an alternative to the balkanization that has

characterized the critical study of contemporary fiction during the past decade. Beginning as realists, as novelists of manners, as writers of campus novels, Bradbury and Lodge soon began to explore, both in their fiction and in their criticism, the possibilities as well as the limitations of realistic writing. They discovered in their situation as novelists working simultaneously within and against the English literary tradition a situation analogous to that of the postwar liberal humanist who had previously served as the focus of the Anglo-liberal novel. -xiiiAs novelists of manners, Bradbury and Lodge deal with the same general literary types: educated middle- or lower middleclass characters stumbling through the postwar period of change and uncertainty and stress. More specifically, Bradbury deals with the lives of befuddled academics caught midway between two worlds: old England and new, home and abroad. Lodge places his characters, many of whom are also academics, in a double bind, for they are also Catholics living through or immediately before or after the liberating yet nonetheless disconcerting upheavals of Vatican II. The conflicts these characters face are the stuff of realist fiction and could easily find their way into novels by Forster or Amis or Greene. Bradbury and Lodge, however, are not only the heirs of the English literary tradition; they are as well literary critics who have demonstrated a keen interest in (and a certain skepticism about) recent critical theories. This interest and, equally important, the debate carried on by and between Bradbury and Lodge over the nature and purpose of both fiction and criticism have found their way into the novels -novels which, even as they have become increasingly innovative and postmodern in form and technique, have remained rooted, precariously and self-consciously, in the realist tradition. As a result, they have proven to be more accessible than the more overtly and more rigorously programmatic academic fictions of such (largely unread) innovators as Walter Abish, Raymond Federman, and Ronald Sukenick (who, of course, have not had the benefit of working within an already established tradition of academic fiction -- in England, the popular "campus novel" subgenre). In Bradbury and Lodge, the realistic conflicts between civilian and military, English and American, pre- and post-Vatican II gradually give way to an exploration of the semiotics behind such conflicts. As one character in Lodge's How Far Can You Go? says, without fully understanding what his words imply, "'I think you could say that the crisis in the Church today is a crisis of language.'" -xivHowever, for Bradbury and Lodge the world, both in and out of the novel, is not merely a playing field of arbitrary and ultimately meaningless signifiers. The point for the Catholic Lodge and for the liberal humanist Bradbury is not to go as far as one can but, rather, to pose the question of how far one can, or should, go so as not to overstep no longer clearly identifiable bounds that are as much ethical and moral in import as they are semiotic in structure. Their most distinctly innovative works -- Bradbury's The History Man and Rates of Exchange; Lodge's Changing Places, How Far Can You Go?, and Small Word -are best approached not simply as departures from the realism of the earlier novels but as

variations on and extensions of the authors' central narrative and cultural concerns. as Bakhtin's biographers have noted. Yet in Bakhtin's theory as in Bradbury's and Lodge's novels. in Bradbury's and Lodge's work.. has caused Bradbury and Lodge to write novels that are not only more accessible but. coupled with the "clerkly skepticism" ( Frank Kermode's phrase) fostered by their work as literary critics. Dialogism helps us to better understand the precise character of Bradbury's and Lodge's efforts to "renegotiate" the terms upon which the Anglo-liberal aesthetic can be strengthened by the very forces which threaten it. the play is serious. or openness. the belief that language is. in conjunction with the postliberal and (by the 1970s) the postmodern challenges to that tradition and all it implies about art and man. My hope is that this effort will generate additional interest in their fiction and lead future critics to discuss it using other. although elusive. novelistic dialogism is opposed not only to monologic dogma but to literary relativism as well. It is this nonprogrammatic open-endedness that has led me to approach the fiction of Bradbury and Lodge through Mikhail Bakhtin's theory of dialogism. this tendency exists only in dialogic tension with another and equally strong force. As Bakhtin has convincingly demon-xvstrated. tend. not even the . Far from resulting in literary conservatism (the usual charge leveled against postwar English fiction)." More specifically. Admittedly. "important only because of its capacity to express values. to validate certain of these same assumptions.. According to Bakhtin. Dialogism leads. which is to say reductively. more importantly. Dialogism is not a method but a tendency vital to the development of the novel in general and to the novels of Bradbury and Lodge in particular. even as they have increasingly undermined naive realism and the political and philosophical assumptions upon which such realism rests. cautiously and with reservations. to that postmodern self-apparency of language to which the careers of Bradbury and Lodge also. It is an ambivalence which manifests itself in their desire to maintain the Anglo-liberal tradition (other than as an anachronism. equally valid approaches. My plan is to approach Bradbury and Lodge via Bakhtin in order to identify certain of the ways in which language and values simultaneously compete with and support one another. that is) in the face of and. paradoxically. Dialogue involves a play of voices. does exist. his theory sensitizes us to what I believe is a necessary ambivalence. even unattainable. for its goal is a truth which. this unwillingness to abandon realism altogether. the viability of Bakhtin's theory or to apply it rigorously. far more open-ended than the doggedly indeterminate fictions of many contemporary writers. I find Bakhtin's theory appropriate for still another reason. as if inevitably. these works have also tended. as if inevitably. however. or prove. I do not intend to use the novels in order to mean something" ( Clark and Holquist 187 ). In the dialogic novel. no one of which emerges as final or superior. Even as their later fictions have exhibited a greater degree of what Jerome Klinkowitz has called self-apparency. the history of the novel is the history "of the deepening of its dialogic essence.

concerning intertextuality. and. President Robert S. especially attractive. in practice. etc. the didactic earnestness of Anglo-American practical criticism.within a text. critics. the Daemen College Faculty Research Committee.character's. Piotr Parlej. In theory.narrator/author enjoys privileged status. Jason. the dialogic novel inevitably leads to the extreme of deconstructionist intertextuality ( Julia Kristeva's synonym for Bakhtin's dialogism).the boundaries of intertextual play. the fact that each has found America and its literature. -." Given all these matters and. Albert and Divina Rosetti. Mara Lou Hawse. My primary concern will be with the play of voices -. I especially wish to thank Jerry Klinkowitz. Jacqueline Lyew. Laurie Craven. author-narrator's. However. and especially and always my parents. Basia Sciborowska. he too takes part in the dialogic interplay. For the writings of Bradbury and Lodge not only raise the questions of how far the characters can go and how far the novelist can go. it often degenerates into the study of specific. as well. each is engaged in an overt dialogue with the literary tradition and with the current "situation of the novel. and Magda Zaborowska in particular).or a Bakhtinian voice -. as novelists. Kay Sullivan. Hanka Michalska. my son. they have responded to and often directed the other's literary efforts in certain directions. or univocal. -xviFreed of monelogic. the students in my magister seminars at Warsaw University ( Zosia Lesinska. -xvii- Acknowledgments AMONG THE MANY people who have had a hand -.rather than to multiply deconstructively -. Krystyna Mazur. and as critics each has taken the other to task. and my wife. on the one hand. Richard Long. intertextuality leads to the infinite and uncontrollable play of meanings. Renata and Piotr Maksymowicz. the ultimately open-ended give and take of voices and views. on the other hand. Sam Coale. the free and sophisticated but often narcissistic play of intertextuality. identifiable sources. to steer a middle course. I propose to approach Bradbury and Lodge in dialogic fashion. they also raise the question of how far the critic can go as he attempts to negotiate between. Marshall and the Trustees of Daemen College. meaning. Peter Siedlecki. to limit pragmatically -. with its emphasis on close readings and aesthetic wholeness. and close friends (even collaborators). adapting Bakhtin's theory of the dialogic imagination rather than mechanically applying it and. it is necessary to consider the dialogic nature of their fiction in broader terms. -xix- . the writing of this book. each of these novelists is also a critic. as Jonathan Culler has pointed out. and. to whom this work is dedicated. particularly its postmodern fiction. too.

. in fact (or fiction). or. happily. Since that time they have not only appeared. of at least equal importance. a voice. of which their direct. in typically postmodernist fashion. Before turning to the novels. have -1reviewed each other's books. one which will be heard. identifiable influence on one another is but a manifestation. however. and not necessarily the most important or the most interesting. one of them looking suspiciously like the real Bradbury and the other like the real Lodge. a theory that is.the points of agreement and contention. Rates of Exchange.1 Critical Assumptions "'DO YOU KNOW also a campus writer Brodge. divide the world (of fiction) between them while having a drink at a half-factive. it is not intended as an introduction to . a number of preliminary tasks need to be addressed. in which two writers. It is as funny. Mikhail Bakhtin's theory of narrative dialogism. It is. Bradbury and Lodge have carried on a longterm debate on the aims and methods of literary criticism that is of considerable interest in and of itself and. more specifically. As for the first of these. for the purposes of this study. when they were faculty members together at the University of Birmingham. One is to define. The voices heard in their debate will be heard in their novels and therefore in the chapters which follow. in one another's works. half-fictual meeting of the Modern Language Association.who writes Changing Westward?'" asks a character in Malcolm Bradbury's most recent novel. as Lodge's own attempt to clear the matter up in his most recent novel. they have collaborated in the writing of satirical revues for the English stage."'I think he is very funny but sometimes his ideological position is not clear'" (268-269). Small World. This open acknowledgment by each writer of the other's "presence" in his work points to the important symbiotic relationship that has existed between them since the early 1960s. The voice of Bradbury or Lodge the critic is not necessarily (perhaps not ever) the voice of Bradbury or Lodge the novelist or that of the authorial narrator in any one of their works. becoming better and more widely known among Anglo-American critics. in curiously angled ways. And the third task to be addressed is to identify the main currents in the criticism written about Bradbury and Lodge and to attempt to situate their work as novelists in the double context of the postwar British novel and contemporary (including postmodern) fiction. however. of the dialogic novel. often. the discussion of Bakhtin. less concerned with Bradbury's direct influence on Lodge's criticism. More importantly. with varying degrees of distinctness. than with the dialogical nature of their novels. A second task is to identify the main currents in the criticism written by Bradbury and Lodge-. I am.. The speaker's confusion is as understandable as her conflation of authors and titles is funny. and have acknowledged their indebtedness to one another in dedications and prefaces. however. or with Lodge's direct influence on Bradbury's. for the ways in which this debate has affected their work as writers of fiction.

a distinctly physical moment marked by the abandonment of authoritarian reason and the triumph of the multi-voiced and the heterodox. In the English comic novels of Fielding. temporarily. The carnivalesque atmosphere that is so clearly evident in the works of Rabelais lives on in all the seriocomic genres. creates "a decrowning double" ( Problems 127).is always a particular way of viewing the world" ( Dialogic333). as well as -3in the more recent comic fictions of Amis. orthodoxy.Bakhtin's theory but instead as a selective discussion of those aspects of the theory upon which I have drawn for my discus-2. . that is to say in the author's distancing himself from the common language that he otherwise seems to be using so transparently. stasis. no one of which can claim authority over any of the others. Waugh. "the genre of becoming" ( Dialogic 22 ).to its sources. anti-canonic. Sterne. In literary terms. above all. cited by Bakhtin. The point here is not that some novels are wholly or partly parodic while others are not. to a chaotic but comic babble. leveling. Bradbury.108 ). protean. Brodge. including and especially the English comic novel. formless. Greene. Especially important to Bakhtin's theory and to this study of Bradbury and Lodge is Bakhtin's tracing the history of the novel back to its source in the popular laughter of folklore in general and the carnival in particular. to liberation from all rules. the "push-me-pull-you" of contemporary British fiction. which tend to promote stasis and orthodoxy. it is itself a parody of other genres as genres. to its being the only truly revolutionary genre: open. Parody. to lawless proliferation and renewal. a paradoxical style based upon the absence of "a normative shared language" ( Dialogic308). which according to Bakhtin is at once representational and self-referential. and Lodge. "alongside the representing word there appears the represented word" ( Problems108). As he explains.. The eternal dissolves. "a particular language. it puts language in quotation marks and in so doing calls attention to the fact that in the novel. Authority and orthodoxy lose their privileged places in a society suddenly given over to pluralism. importance. as well as what that seriousness implies: authority. dominant style gives way to a profusion of styles. in the seriocomic genres. have no "style" as such but instead possess a profusion of self-consciously employed styles. the novel is essentially parodic. and.sion of that literary hydra. Bakhtin contends. this self-consciousness evidences itself as parody. incomplete. a carnivalesque literary form that exposes and therefore undermines both their formal and their linguistic conventionality. and "joyful relativity" ( Problems 107 . What all the seriocomic genres have in common is (to varying degrees) the selfconsciousness entirely absent from the serious genres. This selfconsciousness. as in the world. Bakhtin explains.. Such works. and Dickens. becoming the multiplicity of the present. essential character. Bakhtin explains. Smollett. For Bakhtin. the static and serious world of order and authority gives way. author of Changing Westward. fluid. forms the basis of Bakhtin's theory of the dialogical novel. which is of course one of the hallmarks of much contemporary fiction. form. During the carnival time. I do not exaggerate when I say that Bakhtin devoted himself to the study of the novel -.

hard elements ('rock bottom truths') remain that are not drawn into dialogue. not "the threshold to action" but "the action itself" ( Problems 16 ). is (in Michael Holquist's words) his "extraordinary sensitivity to the immense plurality of experience" ( xx ). Donald Barthelme. but down as well. Nor can there be. What sets Bakhtin apart. dialogism extends not only out. For Bakhtin. with whom Bakhtin was for a time associated. or tone. the reader begins to discern voices within voices. Either way. liberates. mood. 26 ). In these "microdialogues. the result is the same: "an Einsteinian universe" of "multi-voicedness. but also between words. of course. between character(s) and author. a genuine polyphony of fully valid voices. For Bakhtin. Gerald Graff. (Recall Gardner's complaint about that arch-parodist." as well as a fictional world as "profoundly pluralistic" as Bakhtin's conception of human life ( Problems 6. and Christopher Lasch have said and written during the past decade about the limitations inherent in the parodic mode. and above all no ultimate authority. no wholeness of character. There is not only the dialogic interaction between characters. there is no appropriate ("poetic") language for the novel. Only the essentially carnivalesque and parodic novel can expose and represent this immense plurality. subatomic levels" ( Dialogic300). that his only message is better to be disillusioned than deluded. languages within languages. however. not in its overt dogmatic message but in its covert destabilizing structure. between the author and his other works. are double-voiced." a "polyphonic novel" in which the dialogic pluralism is not a means but an end. freeing language from myth and reality from language. Not surprisingly. related. between novel and reader. between languages.) Parody.. no narrative clo-5sure. between styles. or obsession with. for as Bakhtin explains: . so that in addition to the dialogic play of voice against voice. as Bakhtin defines it. to parody does not mean simply to debunk. the dialogic novel is revolutionary and liberating. certain of these dialogues will be explicit in the novel. A second. Bakhtin believed that (as Todorov has explained) the novel has flourished chiefly during "periods of weakening central power" ( Todorov 58 ) and that to follow the history of the novel is to trace the "deepening of its dialogic essence": "Fewer and fewer neutral. I need to add that. for Bakhtin. others implicit. drawing more and more elements into the dialogic configuration. between a character and his words and thoughts.Given what literary and cultural critics such as John Gardner. no dominant voice. Obviously. ultimately. between the text and the intertext. Dialogue moves into the deepest molecular and. and in each of them a conflict of voices takes place" ( Problems 74 ). Dostoevsky's novels in particular. That is to say. linguistic dialogue was shared by most of the Russian formalists.. Bakhtin's interest in. In them -4Bakhtin discovered "a plurality of independent and unmerged voices and consciousnesses. point needs to be made here. Thus we find dialogue everywhere and at all levels. language against language. and between utterances." "all words.

like modern physics. who inherited their styles. that has led many authors to give up the genre of the novel and to replace it by montage of documents. although he does not manifest himself in any one of the novel's languages. it ultimately leads them to concrete literature and..are inevitable in the word" ( Dialogic293). as different forms of silence. biographical.36 ).priests. finds (in Vincent Leitch's words) nonexistent "structural necessities" and "floating signifiers at play" ( Leitch 35 . And. Bakhtin posits the very real presence of an author who. the simple writer. in his critique of logocen-6trism and the metaphysics of presence. These searches have led Dostoevsky to the creation of the polyphonic novel. to literature of the absurd.. cultural." Modern art. -. following Peirce.. for the position of the author. That is now the most acute problem of contemporary literature.. Bakhtin. it has introduced itself in all the words and all the forms.. etc. The dialogic novel is characterized less by deconstruction's "warring forces of signification" ( Barbara Johnson's phrase) than by the less bellicose and certainly less nihilistic view that languages intersect in various ways.. that is... Invoking Werner Heisenberg and Nils Bohr.. like dialogism. (quoted in Todorov 102 ) Bakhtin's dialogic novel is a more inclusive term for what Umberto Eco has termed the "open work" or "work in movement" that began to "emerge at the same time as the physicists' principle of complementarity.. by the description of objects. where "almost no word is without its intense sideward glance at someone else's word" ( Problems 203 ). Where Eco. The author's search for a discourse that would be his own basically is part of the search for genre and style." the novel ( Holquistxxix). indeterminacy.91 ). all authentic dialogue.have left life. They have been replaced by the writer. All of this could be defined.. . Declamatory genres are essentially preserved as parodic or semi-parodic ingredients of the novel. as dialogism is the essence of that omnivorous "supergenre.. etc. and internal contradiction. emphatically denies that dialogism and relativism are in any way synonymous: "both relativism and dogmatism equally exclude all argumentation.66 ). prophets. Man in modern times does not declaim but he speaks. Polyphony as an artistic method lies in an entirely different plane" ( Problems 69 ).. as Julia Kristeva has dubbed it in her seminal essay on Bakhtin ( 64 . he is laying the groundwork for the problematic concept of intertextuality. Dostoevsky was not able to find a discourse for the monologic novel. by making it either unnecessary (relativism) or impossible (dogmatism). in a sense. Eco contends that the open work is ultimately relativistic ( Role 47 . to discontinuity. fathers-patriarchs. preachers. as in Dostoevsky's novels.Irony has entered into all the languages of modern times. is therefore doomed to incompleteness. When Bakhtin writes that "there are no 'neutral' words and forms" and that "contextual overtones. intertextuality moves in two directions simultaneously: down into the text and out into the world (or worlds: social.). finds "endless semiosis" and where Derrida. he speaks within restrictions. historical. on the other hand. The uttering subjects of high declamatory genres -.. does nonetheless exist "at the center of organization where all levels intersect" ( Dialogic 49 ). Intertextuality is the essence of dialogism. leaders. judges. in some measure.

. both as novelists and as critics. and intertextuality. writers who both as novelists and as critics have sought to extend the boundaries of contemporary British fiction while at the same time searching out ways in which the novel as novel (not as text or ficcione) may continue as a viable literary form. Pynchon. for these are novelists who are also critics. which he associates with setting limits to a literary work. as Wayne Booth has noted. In his Deconstructive Criticism: An Advanced Introduction. one plane involves what is actually present in the specific work and the other what is physically absent from the text but.. critics who are also novelists. there is no "novel" as such. if by the term we mean writers who are generally thought to write for the academy ( Barth. Although reviewers and critics often seem to assume just the opposite. no Platonic form or Aristotelian definition capable of containing literature's most protean genre. of course. but academic fictionists with a difference.. Academic fictionists. Small World. Amis's Lucky Jim." but as well with the "various 'centripetal' forces preserving us from overwhelming fluidity and variety" ( Booth xxi-xxii). It is this same tension -. Similarly. Gardner'sm Mickelsson's Ghosts). no author of Changing Westward.. other than as a dialogic image. intertextuality exists on two planes as well. including (surprisingly) Kristeva ( 104 . And there is no Brodge. Bakhtin was concerned.and a diversity of individual voices.or ambivalence -. has proven to be his most popular novel as well.outward into a seeming chaos. the Joyce of Ulysses and Finnegans Wake) rather than merely about the academy ( Mary McCarthy's The Groves of Academe.Further. their work (both critical and imaginative) has remained entirely free of the hermeticism that characterizes much aca-8demic writing (again both critical and imaginative) -. nonetheless. one is tempted to say. I think it can be said that Bradbury and Lodge. not only with the novel's "'centrifugal' force dispersing us. or alternately (the distinction is by no means trivial). Gass. it is a slippery term which seems to encompass both the narcissistic wordplay of Derrida and the more or less scholarly source studies of critics. or abolishing. the problematic nature of intertextuality -. the product of the reader's intertextual imagination.which Tony Tanner in City of Words ( 1971) has also found at the heart of the postwar American novel that characterizes the fiction of Bradbury and much so that Lodge's most academic fiction. there is no "Bradbury" or "Lodge" either. of such limits ( 160 ).for as Jonathan Culler has pointed out. But this overrunning of borders is not in -7 fact what Bakhtin had in mind when he defined the novel "as a diversity of social speech types. In sum. Leitch distinguishes between context.106 ). artistically organized" ( Dialogic262-63). not in any simple sense. which he claims involves the overrunning. Thus. contextually present. Although as critics they have demonstrated a sympathetic interest in contemporary literary theory. have been at once sympathetic towards and skeptical about both the critical and literary traditions from . and as novelists they have often made this interest a vital part of (or voice in) their novels.

which they have emerged and the critical and literary situations in which they now find themselves. is under "a double obligation": to his art and to his world. I wish only to make a number of preliminary points. accounts in large measure for his objection to Lodge's critical practice and theory. Instead of emphasizing (as he says Lodge does) the novel as a "completed whole. Bradbury claims. Bradbury calls for a "synthesizing action. by a Jamesian expansiveness.contra Barthes. Derrida. or for that matter any critical method that focuses on any single feature." He demands a criticism as expansive as the novel itself. and that is what their critical practice implies." "commitments. more especially. that "openness of sympathy which Bradbury has said is the only real justification for criticism's existence" ( Possibilities 27 ) and which he also associates with the novel as a genre and with liberalism as both a sociopolitical and. and they have made amply clear that -. narrative character. as critics and novelists they have demonstrated their awareness of both the benefits and the dangers inherent in such a close. However." too much preoccupied with fiction's verbal texture. as I will go on to explain in subsequent chapters. values. Bradbury claims. that the latter plays a decidedly subordinate role. a literary phenomenon. above all. indeed virtually incestuous. Bradbury posits against these possibilities the dialogic counter-voice of authorial "obligations." the "organic development" of "the evolving tale" ( What 57 . in which inhere the principles. too little with its evolving structure and inherent referentiality ( "Language" 130 ). There is. to what Bradbury (borrowing his terms from Iris ." and "responsibilities. like his Jamesian approach to criticism. but it is one "for which both writer and reader are searching. (291-292) The expansiveness of Bradbury's definition of the novel (what some might object to as its looseness). authorially conditioned world. judged. in order to complete his liberal-humanist definition of the -9novel. and attitudes by which they may be ordered." Bradbury stresses its "imaginative growth. Here. relationship. that this must be seen as a structure or action. as it were. subtitled "Essays on the State of the Novel"). which he judges at once "incomplete" and "too monolithic. one which involves persons and events in a closed. about Bradbury and Lodge as critics. et al." As he explains in Possibilities: My point is that. Bradbury's criticism is marked. and compositional obligations. The novelist. a logic behind the writing of a novel. while there is no single dynamic generically characteristic of novels. Eschewing the assumed narrowness of Lodge's linguistic analysis. Moreover. Their fiction on the other hand strongly suggests that the relationship between criticism and imaginative writing may be far more problematic. for Bradbury. open to "contingency" rather than molded by the dictates of either an aesthetic or a political formalism ( Possibilities289). That is what they as critics say. the novel is less a clearly definable literary form than a vista of "possibilities" (the title of his 1973 collection." Thus. -fiction and criticism are by no means equal. its main structural characteristics arise from its scale. which for Bradbury is of course the literary manifestation of the liberal-humanist self: unique and uncoerced. Possibilities 56 ).

. and fair-minded. Joseph. John natural and instinctive as well as severely deliberate" is. to say nothing at all [ Possibili-11ties56]. P. Bradbury writes. Michel Butor. Snow. 1976)." his calling for an "eclectic" approach and "plural methods. moral fiction. for example. John Barth. sympathetic. is -10"a clerkly intelligent man of humanist aspirations. Although Bradbury often writes of the need for a "synthesis" of critical approaches. Bradbury reprints a wide variety of opinions. David Lodge. and the like.) This shortcoming may derive from the fact that Bradbury the critic often writes in his capacity as Bradbury the teacher: What Is a Novel ( 1969). struggling between outward history and inner freedom and finding that there are no adequate laws for their connection-that essential anxiety of contemporary fiction" ( Saul Bellow 37 ). as Bradbury does. a useful introduction to it. during a time of noisy polemics on surfiction. Saul Bellow. and The Modern American Novel is not (and does not pretend to be) a critical study of its subject but. as one of the dwarfs in Barthelme's Snow White would claim." It is evident. in books such as The Social Context of Modern English Literature. values. too. as Bradbury neatly summarizes in his description (or self-description?) of the main character in Bellow's first novel. alternatives. and in his evenhanded editing of The Novel Today: Contemporary Writers on Modern Fiction ( 1977). leading him to merely catenate facts. it is not so much a synthesis that he himself provides as "a stimulating anthology of distinct but mutually reinforcing accounts" (to borrow his description of the Modernism volume he edited witth James McFarlane for the Pelican Guides to European Literature series. etc. possibilities. Ivy Compton-Burnett. That is his major strength as a critic. C. Even more. John Wain. . Graham Greene. grew out of an undergraduate course he taught at the University of Birmingham. Gerald Graff. The difficulty in combining these two opposing forces is the dilemma faced by modern man in general and by the contemporary writer in particular. that the novel's "organic development. and." his desire to "relate and reconcile. I suspect that this shortcoming derives from the liberal tradition that has largely shaped Bradbury's thinking. Dangling Man. Muriel Spark. B. Frank Kermode.. too. a dialogue of voices: Iris Murdoch. Open. Philip Roth. Philip Stevick. Bradbury is an eminently stimulating anthologist. instead. Angus Wilson. or to generalize rather than to analyze. as Bradbury himself does. S. in his many collaborative projects.. in which. To understand and to attempt to mediate between these opposing forces and ideas typifies not only Bradbury's literary theory (though theory may be too pretentious a word to use here) but his critical approach as well: his tendency towards the "comparative" and the "interdisciplinary. his major weakness. sign systems. and that in his fiction he both espouses and questions. (To say.Murdoch) distinguishes as "form" and "contingency" ( What 13 ). to assert earnestly rather than to prove analytically. Johnson. His fiction deals with characters who must struggle. with opposing desires. cultures.

liberal tendency. with a decided attachment to that empirical. the weakness of Bradbury's criticism becomes." "exploring it.. but who has since felt. as well as preserves in modified form..invariably unsuccessful -. Forster 3 . in an effort -. I want here to offer some thoughts on the way a novelist writing now ." and. For a writer who has described himself as "cautious" (Interview with Todd). In the novels of Murdoch and Fowles. moral. and even in the more daring innovative -12fictions of the past few decades.. most importantly. reprinted in revised form as Putting in the Person: Character and Abstraction in Current Writing and Painting 1979). as we shall shortly see. Novel Today 19 ).". ( "Person" 181 ) It is much harder. In them he tests.where the possibility of ..etc." having more in common with the "revealed plots" of much modernist and contemporary (or postcontemporary) fiction than with the "resolved plots" of the "totalizing novels" of the nineteenth century. The "retextualizing of realism" ("Foreword") that Bradbury espouses involves considerably more than a few token gestures towards postmodernist self-consciousness on the part of the otherwise conventional writer. where the individual may reach out into the world of exterior relationships. Forster as neither a Victorian nor a modernist. for example. a major strength of his novels.." "to preserve as much humanism for the novel as can be got. M. given Bradbury's definition of the liberal novel as a work in which "there is some community of need between self and society. Bradbury has been attracted to writers in whom he discerns a similar interest (and ambivalence). Bradbury elaborates on the problem in a two-part essay entitled A Dog Engulfed by Sand ( 1977-78.12 ).to arrive at an equable rate of exchange. to have problems in the representation of character and the supposedly substantive world.. And he sees E. a "formally and philosophically conservative writer" whose importance stems from his bringing "new meaning to contingency" as he attempts to salvage the liberal self and the form of the liberal novel ( Saul Bellow 11 . Bradbury detects a desire "to make realism and fictiveness co-exist. and so incline in the direction of what we might conveniently call "abstraction.And I write as a novelist who began writing in the postwar season of realism. but no more so than his praising Forster's work as "a fiction of incompleteness rather than solutions... He judges Saul Bellow. which begins in Bradbury's characteristically personal mode. Not surprisingly.that the mode of realism is filled with implicit understandings and assumptions that it grows harder to accept. with a complex mixture of commitment and scepticism" while other writers "risked themselves at the extremes" ( Possibilities91. but as a writer who "held the centre. "to maintain the idea of character against the swamping text" ( Possibilities 229 . the wording here is significant..4 ). for what is at stake is not merely a literary style but a mode of seeing and a mode of being as well.might feel under pressure to diverge from the spirit of realism in the novel. the liberal-realist aesthetic. In this fashion. I might add. for its moderating virtue.

or better. he wants to "renegotiate" the terms upon which the liberal novel can be made viable in a postliberal age. and of such decidedly antipostmodernist critiques as Christopher Lasch's The Culture of Narcissism ( 1978) and Gerald Graff's Literature Against Itself ( 1979) ( "Age")." a hoped-for but elusive synthesis -. compounded (as in Bradbury's case) by precisely the same dualism of critic/novelist. a similar ambivalence animates Lodge's work. "the aesthetics of compromise go naturally with the ideology of compromise"lb /> ( Novelist 33 ). like Bradbury. be a bit more precise. as well as Frank Kermode's provocative comments in The Sense of an Ending on fiction as a successful combination of credulity and "clerkly skepticism. is the "retextualizing of realism. he realizes that the postmodern age is indeed a time of crisis for the novelist. who suddenly finds himself standing at a crossroads where the novelistic tradition appears to diverge in two quite different directions. philosophical. Vonnegut. in which (in Lodge's words) "the dominant mode. Although he rejects Robert Scholes's claim that film has made "literary realism redundant" ( Novelist 17 ). a "stimulating anthology" -. Bradbury feels. As a novelist who is also a critic who has written approvingly of Gilbert Sorrentino's distinctly postmodernist pastiche. Lodge. he is in fact referring to the form as Ian Watt has defined it.of the traditional and the innovative. when Lodge speaks here of the novel. Mulligan Stew ( 1979). Lodge's definition of the novel clearly echoes Murdoch's and Bradbury's discussions of necessity and contingency. and others which . As we will now go on to see." Of course. And for this reason. for Lodge's realistic novel is the liberal novel as well. "The novel supremely among literary forms has satisfied our hunger for the meaningful ordering of experience without denying our empirical observation of its randomness and particularity" ( Novelist4). We can. Unable to continue writing conventional realism in an unconventional and seemingly unrealistic age and unwilling to accept cheerfully "the dehumanization of art" -the triumph of aesthetic form over the human subject -. of the human and the formal. is concerned with realism's definable past and its uncertain future. What troubles Lodge is less Bradbury's fears concerning the growing dehumanization of art in -14the twentieth century than "the difficulty of being committed to aesthetic. and moral principles which seem more reliable but drabber than the principles upon which most great 'modern' art was based" ( Language267). More importantly.Brad-13Brad. the synthesizing element. What is needed.finds himself "much concerned with the question of how to create and pose a human figure in a world that can no longer be regarded as comfortably 'realistic' " ( Dog 51 ).moral enlargement and discovery resides" ( Saul Bellow 29 ). is realism" ( Novelist 4 ). he does acknowledge that British writers may be overly committed to realism and resistant to non-realistic literary modes. however. One road looks towards the fabulation of Barth. though his reasons for questioning its continuing viability are not precisely Bradbury's.

as well.which seem less novelistic than journalistic in technique as well as in effect. instead. Instead of following one path or the other. adopt a third course of action and "build their hesitation into the novel itself" ( Novelist22).Scholes has espoused.. ethics and thematics rather than poetics and aesthetics" ( Modes 52 ). on the collage technique that Barthelme has perfected in his short stories. adventurous. that come by throwing reality overboard altogether" ( David Lodge Interviewed 116 ). Doris Lessing's The Golden Notebook. On the one hand.) The problematic novel represents a way to continue the development of the genre rather than either breaking with it altogether or maintaining the realist/liberal tradition as a literary anachronism. Lodge's Changing Places is a problematic novel which clearly implies that as the "synthesis" which realism once made possible becomes more difficult -perhaps impossible -. Following the example of Sterne in Tristram Shandy. Lodge wants to maintain the realist tradition against the "easy victories" of certain experimental writers such as William Burroughs.his subject" and "invites the reader to participate in the aesthetic and philosophical problems that the writing of fiction presents" ( Novelist 23 . Lodge has noted that the author "seems to be using the conventions of realistic fiction while being aware of their limitations and building this awareness into the novel itself. for example. contemporary writers should. the writer of problematic novels makes "the difficulty of his task . Concerning another. that is. A "comedy about the -15 causes of postmodernism" (as Bradbury has described it [ "Dangerous Pilgrimages" 65 ]). I'm interested in the art and reality novel. the novelist can turn to the construction. (Recall here not only Barth's two well known essays but. Lodge counsels. What Lodge seeks to establish. and the other towards those "empirical narratives" -. the ending of his aptly titled achieve.. He has steadfastly maintained that in discussions of the novel. fruitful tension between the novelistic commitment to rendering experience through traditional forms and yet an inquiring. not merely to assert. it is far too easy for the critic to appeal to reality as the arbiter of literary worth. aesthetically every bit as interesting in its metonymic way as modernism is in its essentially metaphoric manner. which works by concealing the art by which it is produced. ultimately raising all kinds of questions about art and reality. Lodge's inter- . is that realism is indeed a form of literary art. so that [ Lodge contends] you have a very interesting. especially in the case of "the realistic novel. and earlier. skepticism and credulity) without nostalgically thinking he can any longer reconcile them. then. of course. but I distrust the cheap victories." variations. very candid questioning of those conventions.Capote's In Cold Blood. or compilation. It is. its continuing dialogization and replenishment. and Mailer's The Executioner's Song -. and invites discussion in terms of content rather than form. Sabbatical.24 ). of works in the form of "stimulating anthologies." a work in which the writer can remain loyal both to reality and to fiction (contingency and necessity. Problematic novels do not signal the exhaustion of the novel as a genre but. problematic novel. he is just as critical of those writers and critics who embrace realism unthinkingly as he is of those who reject it out of hand. On the other. The result will be what Lodge terms "the problematic novel.

. the fears. It seems a country-headed thing to say: that literature is language. And from Lodge's early "axiom" that "the novelist's medium is language. It might.. "an increasingly cosmopolitan and collaborative enterprise" ( Novelist 286). including the writing and interpreting of imaginative literature. whatever he does qua novelist he does through language. since the obvious is often the unobserved. during the past half-century. although prone to specialization and hermeticism. pass clamorous pages into soundless dreams. That novels should be made of words. we cannot be too simple at the start. surprisingly similar to Barthes' in. if Lodge is right. infamous) remark.. really. he possesses a distinctly contemporary but not at all pessimistic sense of the limitations (rather than Bradburyan "possibilities") inherent in all human activities. be more accurate to say that Lodgecannot go quite so far given the import of his critical comments and critical method. in fact. In their debate on criticism and which works of literature have their meaning. Lodge's position is. in taking such delight listening to the hum of his own valvèd voice. too. the writing of his own early realistic fiction that have led him to fashion his largely successful apologia in defense of an aesthetic that has. (27) -17Not that Lodge goes nearly as far in his celebration of the language of fiction or. and merely words. at times too vague) to be practicable. largely misunderstood. his "Structural Analysis of Narrative": "What takes place in a narrative is from the referential (reality) point of view literally nothing.. not on the basis of fidelity to "real life" but instead on the basis of the writer's ability to create aesthetically the experience that the reader naively assumes has merely been reproduced. I might add. Lodge has faulted Bradbury for espousing a poetics of the novel that is too inclusive (and. as Gass does. Lodge has sought to prove that realism succeeds. for example.. Lodge maintains that "no single method or approach can hope to explain adequately a literary work...-16 est in the English realists of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and. What he describes is an implicitly dialogic criticism which. that stories and the places and the people in them are merely made of words as chairs are made of smoothed sticks and sometimes of cloth or metal tubes." Although his efforts are doomed to incompleteness. the adventure of language. in Lodge's judgment. In fact. Lodge's critic can enter into that "continual stream of human conversation. the ease with which we sink through books quite out of sight. been much maligned and. has nonetheless become. Beginning with his New Critical close reading of the Language of Fiction. given his commitment to realism. 'what happens' is language alone." it is only a small (but significant) jump to William Gass's well-known (and. Still. the unceasing celebration of its coming" (295). and their very existence" ( 20th Century xvii ). to John Gardner. Lodge makes a similar point about . But it is the abiding power of the modernist aesthetic and of the critical approaches that have come in the wake of The Waste Land and the Wake that have caused him to approach realism on modernism's own terms.from sponge. It seems incredible. is shocking. It's as though you had discovered that your wife were made of rubber: the bliss of all those years.

From the New Critical analysis of verbal patterns and surface texture. S/Z. has refused to relinquish the openness of the individual text to the abstractions of structuralist theory ( 159 ). Bradbury ____________________ 1 See. a merging. Working within the framework of such inherent limitations -. for example. -19- . Bradbury has spoken approvingly (Interview with Todd). making them less restrictive. as well he should given his own mild interest in structuralist theories and. none of which can be considered dominant" ( Novelist ix ). on the importance of novelistic form. Among the most important of the sources to which these voices can be traced is Mark Schorer's seminal essay. though cautiously. Lodge has become increasingly concerned with novelistic form. This is not to say that Lodge has finally come to accept what Bradbury has known all along. of his Catholic upbringing -Lodge has. steadily.the residue. a mingling of voices that never were quite so monologically opposed as these writers' uncharacteristic polemics at times made them seem. Lodge has been far more deeply influenced by both the theories and practice of Gerard Genette. for there is nowhere else for discourse to go except between these two poles" ( 220 ). Of Genette's influence on Lodge. symbolic action. since the publication of Language of Fiction in 1966. 1 Even as he has praised Barthes' tour de force. Technique as Discovery ( 1946). Under Genette's influence. Not that they read Schorer in quite the same way. but by no means expansive.contemporary fiction. their debate has in fact taken the form of a dialogue. or. -18more structuralist. right down to the construction of the simplest sentences" ( Working108). better. and all of which (as he explains in Modes of Modern Writing) operate within a literary continuum bounded by metaphor at one end and metonymy at the other. he has moved to the study of the deeper structures and narrative grammars and has recently taken a special interest in Bakhtin's theory of the dialogical novel. the point of view of the narration. more significantly.. whom Robert Scholes has approvingly described as a "low structuralist" who. modified his critical approach as well as his definition of language. the design of the plot. in his debate with Lodge. figurative language. there has occurred a decided shift in critical emphasis. unlike Barthes et al. another of Lodge's "fruitful tensions" and Bradbury's "stimulating anthologies. Lodge's Mimesis and Diegesis in Modern Literature and his review of John Updike's novel. I suspect. which for Lodge includes "all the means of literary presentation from the largest to the smallest in scope. He finds in it an "amazingly wide spectrum of modes and genres." In it. Rather. Roger's Version. "The metaphor/metonymy distinction explains why at the deepest level there is a cyclical rhythm to literary history. his own emphasis.

"decrowning") of the literary work's ostensible subject and the author's discovery of technique as subject rather than as a merely subordinate means to a higher thematic end. or critics have sought to domesticate even Bradbury's and Lodge's most disruptive and disturbing novels by reading them within an unnecessarily narrow "British" context. course. become increasingly preoccupied with verbal texture. both as contemporary fictions and as postwar British novels. The importance of these novels. moving from the analysis of the language of fiction and the writing of a fiction of language to a growing awareness of and preoccupation with the form of the novel and the problem of referentiality. more particularly. in her Metafiction: The Theory and Practice of Self-Conscious Fiction. to use Bakhtin's word. without denying their own and their readers' empirical observation of its randomness and particularity. The development of Bradbury's and Lodge's careers as critics and (more especially and more interestingly) as novelists implies a (not necessarily conscious) rethinking of "Technique as Discovery" in the context of the general cultural and critical climate and. as critic. that British metafictional texts "manifest the symptoms of formal and ontological insecurity but allow their deconstructions to be finally recontextualized or 'naturalized' and given a total interpretation" ( 19 ). may accurately describe the novels of Murdoch. illustrates this tendency all too well.stressed Schorer's interest in the way the adoption of a certain style or technique leads the writer to discover and to explore his subject. Waugh's conclusion. yet. strictly speaking. on the other hand. And Lodge has followed a similar. is considerable. of novelists who are also critics. -20the academic response to them has thus far been surprisingly slight. We need to realize that even as well as their own evolving novelistic practice. as novelist. But I believe that what we have here are not parallels. with the language of fiction. Lodge. The little academic criticism that has appeared thus far has been of a decidedly introductory nature or has been published in such out-of-the-way journals as Revista Canaria de Estudios Inglese. Spark. emphasized Schorer's demystification (or. Hard to classify. Even one of the best of these. in the context of one another's works -.both interpretive and imaginative -. It is tempting to speak here of the parallel development of two writers who have been colleagues and who continue to be friends. has emphasized the formal and referential dimensions of the novel. though in a sense opposite. Patricia Waugh's discussion of The History Man and How Far Can You Go?. but not those of . their work becomes easy to passively disregard if not quite actively dismiss. One reason for this neglect is that Bradbury and Lodge continue to be thought of as critics first and fiction writers second. and others. Barnes. The other reason is that their novels are neither as securely realistic as the overwhelming majority of British fictions nor as insistently innovative as certain others. though not as an alternative to liberal-humanist art or as a sign of his surrender to dehumanization. In these novels Bradbury and Lodge continue to search out ways to satisfy their own and their readers' hunger for the meaningful ordering of experience. but points of intersection that form the necessary background for the discussions of the novels that follow. he has. especially from American critics.

or more obtuse. but whether this fact suggests the continued conventionality of recent British fiction or the general ignorance of -. it is mostly to the realist tradition that his work belongs. under the heading. and in The Survival of the Novel: British Fiction in the Later Twentieth . Who Do You Think You Are. includes a surprising number of British writers in her Metafiction. a British critic. edited by Larry McCaffery ( 1986). Walter Evans. naively so." where he faults the author for his failure to "more powerfully. Like the novel's protagonist. its author ( Burton confidently claims) is finally "able to read the signs clearly and ultimately find his way back to a home rooted in a stable domestic and literary tradition. remains un____________________ 2 Compare J. Admittedly. -22clear.or resistance to -. Other critics have proven less generous. from which standpoint he writes conventionally moral fictions mixed with stylistic ingenuity" ( Burton 105). and have assumed what Bradbury and Lodge clearly do not: that unless it declares itself otherwise fiction is realistic.that fiction on the part of postmodernism's critics.Bradbury and Lodge. His best-known novel. these appear fairly modestly and intermittently: like Lodge's. for example. Waugh. "Focusing on Personal Crisis. many of them American. to varying degrees. is a satire whose only substantial departure from conventional narrative technique is its extended use of the present tense" (191. Waugh and Burton at least recognize that discourse does play a role in Bradbury's and Lodge's novels.192 ). Then again few English writers are. discourse in favor of dogma. subordinating its dialogic thrust to the critic's demand for the resolved plot of conventional -21fiction. putting Bradbury and Lodge in the perspective of innovative fiction is a tricky business. They are not included in Postmodern Fiction: A Bio-Bibliographical Guide. for example. more freely evoke his characters' emotional depth" ( 145 ). discusses Bradbury's collection of short stories." This includes the happy ending which Robert S. Randall Stevenson proves similarly obtuse in his comprehensive The British Novel Since the Thirties: "Though some of Bradbury's novels include selfconscious modernist techniques. R. 2 What apparently failed to cross the critic's mind is the possibility that the personal crisis in these stories may be as much the writer's as the characters' and the absence of emotional depth a narrative strategy rather than an aesthetic mistake. The History Man ( 1975). Burton has more recently imposed on Bradbury's Rates of Exchange. Banks's complaint that in Small World Lodge fails to create "fully naturalistic characters" ( 81 ). whose dialogical openness resists all efforts to impose any such "total interpretation. Even as they downplay. Praise such as this condemns Bradbury's narrative technique to marginal status. and therefore best approached with equal naivete on the part of the critic.

Byatt has pointed out. "in dialogue with the Victorian tradition and the innovative present" 3 Unfortunately. is to defend English bourgeois culture against the tide of history (as Widdowson." Instead he calls special attention to the presence of these techniques in their novels and to Bradbury's and Lodge's approving comments on recent trends in literary theory. discuss the importance of Bakhtin's theory of menippea to the study of contemporary fiction ( 14 . at least. One critic who has faced this challenge is Peter Widdowson. "the difficulty of 'realism' combined with a strong moral attachment to its values" has been a major problem and challenge for the postwar British writer. then perhaps the problem and challenge for the critic of this postwar British fiction is to define as precisely as possible the ways in which certain of these writers have met the postmodern challenge and managed to open up a dialogue between realism and self-apparency without "stubbornly" resolving the tension between the two.19 ). or. as Widdowson defines it. Unlike the majority of their critics. well within the literary world of fabulation and nouveau roman. but for their being "antihistory. He does. defines it). in order to glibly situate Bradbury and Lodge within the "the realist tradition. certainly the most provocative. It is. He cites Bradbury's and Lodge's criticism approvingly but does not discuss their fiction despite its appropriateness to his rather general thesis. Wilson. "Beneath the 'progressive' surface sophistication and brilliance of their work are ideological implications of considerable reactionary force. McEwan states. If. and Golding. an attempt to disguise the true purpose of their work which. only to downplay them. Their fiction is essentially and covertly realistic in form and in its implications. McEwan's "dialogue" comes to look suspiciously like monologue when he asserts that recent British fiction is "technically adaptable even though stubbornly realist" ( 3 ). The postmodern "surface" of their novels "belies" the . neither does he alternately praise them. of bourgeois capitalism. writers in Britain have achieved a creative relationship with the traditional novel. of a cleverly disguised neutralisation of the potentially disruptive developments which they themselves purport to deploy" ( Widdowson 6 ). and perhaps the most perverse piece as yet to appear.Century ( 1981). Widdowson is not indicting Bradbury and Lodge for their failure to be sufficiently postmodernist. Neil McEwan contends that postwar British fiction is considerably less conservative than American critics believe. therefore. the most fully argued. As a result they have managed to keep their work close enough to common experience to make their experiments and to ensure the novel's continuing life" ( ix ). Murdoch. McEwan devotes individual chapters to Fowles. S. Appearances to the contrary." Their professed interest in postmodern techniques and recent critical theory are merely a smokescreen. -23neither overlooks their postmodern techniques nor dismisses them out of hand. Hartley. Widdowson ____________________ 3 McEwan's "argument is that. its values are those of Arnold and Leavis and. as A. His "The Anti-History Men: Malcolm Bradbury and David Lodge" merits special attention for being the most comprehensive. again. however. Powell. But he does so only in order to unmask them.

characterize their work. they find themselves increasingly unable to do so. In effect. itself determined by his Marxist approach. non-deterministic postmodernism" (27). on the other hand. Their novels. Bradbury's and Lodge's works prove stubbornly resistant to all forms of closure. however. including Widdowson's and. has helped keep them free of that naivete. and entirely anti-historical acceptance of the bourgeois values that their novels and criticism covertly encourage. have. I. his criticism. Widdowson resolves the discrepancy between overt form and covert message by privileging the latter. 27). Their novels typify the English comic novel. not as Widdowson but as Bakhtin has defined it. it is hoped. Far from disguising their liberal values and aesthetic. is precisely what Widdowson cannot do without himself committing the sin of omission of which he accuses Bradbury and Lodge: that lack of commitment to "history" which evidences itself in the nostalgic. and so have more to do with carnival than conservatism. and the novels of John Fowles. the novels in this manner entails disregarding the aesthetic reality of the works themselves. 4 But to resolve. less Marxist in their approach. the one adopted in these and the following pages. Widdowson must impose his own closure. or bad faith. that characterizes so much Anglo- . prove to be nothing more than" 'conservative' comic realism masquerading as an open. as Widdowson reads them. -25tradition. This. they put them under increasing and inevitable postliberal pressure in an effort to discover whether any of the tradition can and should be maintained. Widdowson sees Bradbury and Lodge affirming the bourgeoisliberal-realist tradition. To arrive at such a conclusion. quietism and defeatism. upon the novels in general and on their endings in particular." as well as "the specious liberal freedom of having it both ways" ( 24 . even as they pretend to do just the opposite: that is. with similar aplomb.deep meaning which Widdowson alone accurately discerns. just as many other critics. Far better are the essays by Theo D'haen and JeanMichel Rabate in which parallels are drawn between Lodge's endings. but even as they seek to preserve this ____________________ 4 Widdowson's readings of the endings of the novels is bewilderingly reductive. see Bradbury and Lodge as wishing quite openly to preserve the tradition that Widdowson claims to have unmasked. "Conservatism. generally unthinking. In this sense. or close. Standing within the comic novel tradition which they at once exemplify and extend. even as they pretend to be postmodern. What Widdowson fails to consider as he goes about his father Karl's business of unmasking bourgeois liberalism in even its most postmodern disguise is that the tension needs -24to be discerned but not necessarily resolved. privileged the former in order to find in Bradbury and Lodge the comforting assurances they themselves crave: the bourgeois liberalism that Widdowson finds so distasteful. Bradbury's and Lodge's work as critics has kept them honest.

No. As used in this study. However. she had been exposed to American culture" (549). Nor do I mean to suggest that "postmodern" and "contemporary" are equivalent terms. in McCaffery's words. and McCaffrey's " Introduction" to Postmodern Fiction). This question is one that a number of postwar British writers have been struggling with for quite some time. Bradbury completed Rates of Exchange while working on his study of The Modern American Novel. McCaffery. and Lodge's How Far Can You Go?. Not Bloomsbury359). in large part. as Lodge. Exhaustive checklists of these techniques are readily available (see. two later works -. instead.Bradbury's Rates of Exchange. has commented that "one can only speculate how different her literary career may have been if. only that for a work of the seventies or eighties to be considered truly contemporary it must evidence an awareness. than did many of their English colleagues. may be their most American and their most postmodern in terms of treatment. though not necessarily of postmodern techniques. and others have been quick to point out. As critics and as novelists they have put their Anglo-liberal aesthetic under increasing postmodern pressure. set chiefly in eastern Europe. for example. the writer is to use "experimental strategies to discover new methods of reconnecting with the world outside the page. is how. although Bradbury's Stepping Westward and Lodge's Changing Places are clearly their most American fictions in terms of setting and subject. and as a result they have been able "to break out of the straitjacket of genre and conventionalised narrative that has limited so much of modern British writing" ( Bradbury. one of Bradbury's colleagues at the University of East Anglia. closure is for others. outside of language" (xxvi). we can do considerably more than speculate. only that an important connection does exist. They have spoken and written about their American experiences and have even set a number of their stories and novels in the United States. at this very formative stage of her -26life. The reason they could do so is. John Fletcher. The question that has only recently begun to trouble postmodern writers in the United States and on the Continent (as well as their most approving critics). and certainly a good deal more directly. This is a rather large claim but one the importance of which ought not to be overlooked. perhaps even a grudging acceptance. set almost entirely in England.American fiction and criticism: a willed ignorance of the fact that it is both novelist and critic who are at the crossroads. Writing about Iris Murdoch's failure to gain entry to the United States in the late 1940s.) I do not mean to imply that "American" and "postmodern" are synonymous. of postmodern assumptions. and Lodge wrote How Far Can You Go? shortly after completing his analysis of postmodern American fiction for his The Modes of Modern Writing. a general tendency . however. Lodge's The Modes of Modern Writing. Bradbury's The Modern American Novel. In the case of Bradbury and Lodge. Bradbury and Lodge appear to have faced it somewhat earlier. the result of their mutual interest in and attraction to America in general and to contemporary American fiction in particular. To preserve and to openly question (and so to transform) is their aim. the term postmodernism signifies not a particular literary mode but. (Significantly.

and no interest in seeing them broken" ( Modes245). one might say.e..lives on the very border of its opposite" ( Problems 176 ). a fiction at once academic and accessible.. "duplex.. to the decidedly dialogical novels of Malcolm Bradbury and David Lodge. "Thought and language have changed our expectations about literature" and have "made problematic our belief in the primacy of the visual" and in "the iconicity of language" ( 3 ). multiple styles and languages. where "everything . and mirror reflections: a fiction which simultaneously undermines and endorses.. Anglo-liberal and postrealist. to use a word from Lodge's Changing Places. British and American. linguistic uncertainty (the "auto-criticism of discourse is one of the primary distinguishing features of the novel as a genre" [ Dialogic412]).. reads like the Borgesian precursor of postmodern fiction: carnival impiety. more particularly. one detects the same use of "decrowning doubles" and "sideward glances" that Bakhtin noted in Dostoevsky's fiction. above all. and unless people are still trying to keep the rules there is no point in breaking them. As Bakhtin has noted. realist] writing for its background. as well as largely accepted) and the postmodern techniques and assumptions (to which they have been increasingly attracted) are necessarily dialogic. "A true postmodernist. Lodge is even more emphatic about this relationship: "Postmodernism cannot rely upon the historical memory of modernist and antimodernist [i. and intertextual doublings. Their novels are truly "double-voiced. referential and selfreflexive. attempting to correct certain apocalyptic misconceptions about his "Literature of Exhaustion" essay. In their novels. because it is essentially a rule-breaking kind of art. That there should be a close relationship between dialogism and postmodernism should hardly come as a surprise. semantic..whose origin and nature Allen Thiher has defined especially well. the history of the novel is the history "of the deepening of [its] dialogic essence" ( Dialogic300). The crises of referentiality and representation evident in postmod-27ern writing give it the appearance of being entirely new and disruptive.[in order to expose] the conventionality of their forms and their language" and to insert "indeterminacy" and "semantic openness" into these otherwise closed forms ( Dialogic 5. echoes..and one foot in. perhaps inevitably. to the kind of writing labeled -28postmodern and. 7 ). And. It is a history which leads. drawn up in the 1920s. the Parisian structuralist present" ( Literature of Replenishment 70). "keeps one foot always in the narrative past. The relationships between past and present and between the conventions of the Angloliberal tradition (which Bradbury and Lodge have inherited. for Bakhtin's checklist for the dialogic novel. there is the fact that the dialogic novel "parodies other genres (precisely in their role as genres)." or." John Barth has explained. The irony here is that postmodernism's break with the past is not nearly as apocalyptic as many would like to believe. Theirs is a fiction of structural. thematic." which in telegraphic jargon refers to the sending of two messages simultaneously in different directions along the same line. a fiction tentative about its .

less implicitly committed to pragmatic success in the world or to mocking contemporary forms of incompetence" ( "radbury"91). It was. we will come to better appreciate the fact that their works stand neither for tradition nor against it but. however. both to realize liberal humanism as a potential. Although Bradbury's comments on Wilson. they nonetheless help to foreground the important but by no means obvious link between his thematic concerns in Eating People Is Wrong and his own teasing out of the possibilities of the liberal novel. Hemlock and After involves a "teasing out of the possibilities of the traditional novel" that. at least in part: one of the last of the fifties' academic fictions. Although he may not have intended Eating People Is Wrong as a campus novel ( "Introduction" 1 ). written in the 1980 s. reflect his most recent interests. just as importantly." Also. transforming an author just beginning his career as narrative ventriloquist into either a mere parrot or an English original. but in order that the voices may be heard in all their confusion and complexity.commitments yet increasingly committed to its own tentativeness. 1 ____________________ 1 Concerning the relationship between Lucky Jim and Eating People Is Wrong. while certainly muted in Bradbury's first two novels. "a latter-day liberal novel. rather. M. and at once. Approaching Bradbury's and Lodge's novels in this manner. both together. nonetheless plays a significant role in his aesthetic ( "Coming Out" 186). Amis's novel undoubtedly influenced Bradbury: how could it not have? But one can make either too much or too little of the influence. but also to see its historical conditions. determinants. Forster was. -30Angus Wilson's 1952 novel Hemlock and After exerted a less obvious but perhaps more "potent" influence. Its appeal for Bradbury was double. My purpose in the chapters which follow is to make the openness of their fiction more apparent: to identify the play of dialogically intersecting voices not in order to subordinate some to others. Eating People Is Wrong is clearly an apprentice work composed and. -29- 2 Eating People Is Wrong: Yes or No? WRITTEN LARGELY WHILE the author was still a student and published when he was just twenty-seven years old. concerned. Bradbury's satire is different from Amis's. a subgenre that includes Mary McCarthy's The Groves of Academe and Lionel Trilling's "Of This Time. as Bradbury read it. a campus novel is indeed what it is. as E. and in this way to resolve the dialogical tension. Bradbury is neither. read and reviewed in the shadow of Kingsley Amis's Lucky Jim. Bradbury always more concerned with issues. "In spite of all the critical comparisons and interlocking references. Of That Place" as well as Lucky Jim. and limits. His comments play upon what Lodge has subsequently and punningly called "the . James Gindin has noted.

is a man who has risen from humble beginnings to the now equally humble heights of department head and nominal specialist in eighteenth century literature at a provincial university in an "anywhere" city. Treece is at best a marginal man. "[Scrupulous] in the face of action" ( 83 ) is the way he explains himself to Emma Fielding. Like a Bellow protagonist. a mother. As Jenkins. politically. noble sentiment aside. a lover. a confidante. taken from his book on Forster. that is. Stuart Treece. in the face of contingency. a friend. historically. a nursemaid. I can't help remembering. Treece ponders but cannot bring himself to act or even to make a decisive choice. Treece isn't "really saying anything" (83). are quoted by Bradbury in his 1975 essay on Trilling ( "Lionel Trilling"619) and echoed in his comments on Wilson and in his discussions of Forster's novels. Eating People Is Wrong. The question for the reader is whether Treece (as well as the liberal tradition he represents) has been unfairly dispossessed or whether he is himself responsible for his (perhaps deserved) diminishment. But Emma understands that. Pushing himself to be entirely fair-minded and ethically upright. as Trilling has explained. Eating People Is Wrong and Hemlock and After are examples of "moral realism. "entails not only the awareness of morality itself but of the contradictions. It is precisely the same question that Bradbury finds at the heart of Jewish. he seems a caricature of the liberal self. he already seems old. especially his most Bellow-like novel. a university that looks like a railway station and that originally served as an asylum for the insane." and the difficulty or perhaps the impossibility or at least the inadvisability of being Amis any longer. and morally. "'we used to think people like us were important. his concern with the "most basic question" raised in Forster's novels: "how. and the mirror image of his own liberal soul. who for Treece is alternately a student. the novels of Saul Bellow in particular. consequently. " 'Once. professionally. -31This is the problem faced by the novel's withdrawn hero. Although still young (in his late thirties). for his scruples may in fact be merely a poor substitute for selfless moral action.American fiction." Trilling's comments. in which "past and present don't quite mesh" and.importance of being Amis. one structures meaning" ( Possibilities 112 ). or simply Treece as he is most often and most minimally called. Driven by "self-discipline and moral scruple" ( 46 ). Now we're just a little group of disordered citizens with no social role in the society we live in'" ( 23 ). an assistant. a way. and that the reader finds in Bradbury's own work. "it is hard to know quite where to get one's values from" ( Introduction 6 ). paradoxes and dangers of living the moral life. the liberal/socialist of two decades earlier has become in the 1950 s something of a reactionary. to avoid taking any risks. he succeeds only in being indefatigably indecisive. With his degree from London University (rather than Oxford or Cambridge) and his wartime service in the London Fire Brigade." which. It is not some tenuous thread I am trying to trace (or fabricate) here but one of Bradbury's major preoccupations.' " his colleague Jenkins explains to the generally inept and decidedly unheroic Treece. a . socially.

Treece imagines that "the room began to boom with moral reverberations" ( 103 ) -. paradoxically but in a sense consistently. financially sound institution. the traditional and the contemporary. The reader will certainly agree with another of Treece's colleagues. yet the reader cannot quite bring himself to trust entirely someone whose flat is described as "a showpiece of the unendurably modern. each challenging and modifying the others. Just as he begins to succumb to Viola's seductive charms.and the sound of narrative laughter. but not to the point that the reader can quite reject her judgment of Treece. that Treece fits Simone Weil's definition of the religious man all too well: "Morality will not let him breathe" ( 101 ).. has brought all "their civilized pretensions" ( 170 ) crashing down around them. even about doubt he remains dialogically confused rather than monologically certain. Bradbury's comedy remains essentially serious. however.. the necessary and the contingent are never left in isolation but always brought into conflict. The reader accepts Jenkins' judgment of Treece as correct.with all the personal ineffectiveness and depression that that entails. Emma tells Treece that their rejection of a particularly unlikeable but perhaps brilliant student. values which Treece in his own fumbling way wishes to preserve. It is also. the vital center of Bradbury's narrative method. Treece does believe that his position is superior.' " ( 178 ). " 'You prefer a good honest Western doubt -. but the fact that Jenkins. Nonetheless.-32 sociologist. a haven which Treece is unable to effect even on the micro-level of his own personal/professional dealings with students. explains. but even about this he remains. Viola's desire to be in vogue accentuates her absurdity (which is the opposite of Treece's) and thus undermines her credibility.. voice against voice. Instead of a dominant tone. perhaps anachronistic. is played against Treece's worthy but nebulous idea of the university as a haven in a heartless world. -33 The Vice Chancellor's blueprint for the university as an entirely practical. is so adept at role-playing suggests that he may also be oblivious to those deeper. But Treece's situation is at once existential and comical. In the very next chapter. (It is. Like Jenkins. When you went there. Viola may be right about Treece. as in dealing with virtually all of the novel's characters. the residue of a once vital liberalism. In one chapter. Viola Masefield. Louis Bates. In dealing with Viola. incidentally. Bradbury plays view against view. both within characters and between them. Tonally the novel resembles Treece. a solid centre" (47). you always discussed things as they discussed things in Vogue: What does one do with dustbins to make them look interesting" (86).. indecisive.) The ideal and the real. such moral concern becomes comically ludicrous moral hyperbole when Treece claims to discern in the theft of a journal article from the departmental reading room clear evidence that his fellow academics "were chipping steadily away at . for example. You presumably think that your position is actually superior. for example. Doubt is the essence of his character. the novel consists of a number of alternating ones. a specialist in group dynamics. "a person without a firm.. Each intersects with and continuously redefines the other.

. for it lacks the "hard. where Treece prefers reading to mingling. "The trouble with me.that I'm a liberal humanist who believes in original sin.[his world's] hard. to put the same matter more in the form of a nervous. for if I were not. And it is also true that he is at times given to offering sententiously to others advice that is at least just as pertinent to himself. -34the very commitment that Treece himself lacks. especially at parties. thought Treece. I think of man as a noble creature who has only to extend himself to the full range of his powers to be civilized and good. "are largely novels of inaction. It is true that his habitual pose is one of withdrawal. like Forster's A Passage to India. as well.20 ). it is Treece's withdrawal into endless (though not entirely fruitless) self-analysis that is masochistic. the reader cannot help but admire Treece's scrupulous honesty. including himself. aware (even hyperaware) of his own failings. In Eating People Is Wrong. to the less obvious but no less significant streak of moral hyperbolism in Emma's thinking. yet his performance by and large has been intrinsically evil and could be more so as the extension -35continues" ( 12 ). Like Emma. Bradbury has pointed out. round moral core" that he requires. Such self-reflexive and certainly self- . and can love all men. Treece is only partly a tragic figure. though of course on a much smaller scale. "is. as Martin Tucker has pointed out.'" he tells a foreign student whose megalomania and depressive withdrawals make him a fit caricature of Treece's own personality. whose novels. but no one tries to answer them. devastating analysis usually produces in the central character a masochistic withdrawal from action" ( Possibilities140-166). the primary issue in Eating People Is Wrong is. Bradbury agrees with Treece's Anglo-liberal desire to leave his character undefined but knows too how such a desire can easily degenerate into moral evasion. for his scrupulous. however. Thus. "'life here may be difficult. Rather. Or. But in this "sad comedy" ( Introduction 7 ). Critical of the shortcomings of his fellow men. His questions are never meant to be answered: that is his tragedy" ( 19 . In other words." thinks the everthinking Treece.. he is self-critical as well. Bradbury's novel concerns the "confusion and muddle" that result when two different value systems meet ( Possibilities112). befuddled stand-up comic's one-liner: "It is well I am a liberal. "'The point is this. I doubt if I could" ( 29 ). "He is the eternal questioner: everyone listens to his questions. and inconsistencies. What is more characteristic of Treece's character and of Bradbury's novel in general. the tonal distinction that exists between the two passages exists within each passage as well. deficiencies. Eating People Is Wrong would undoubtedly disappoint its main character. but you can't go on retiring into lavatories indefinitely'" ( 28 ). comically so. is some of that same quality that Bradbury has found in the fiction of Aldous Huxley. round moral core" (170). and about him Bradbury expresses a necessary ambivalence. The juxtaposition of the two passages calls attention not only to Treece's inability to distinguish significant from trivial matters of moral concern but.

as in his absurdly formal comment to Emma. not whether Treece should be or not be." specifically because he can offer other people ( Emma in particular) only his own desperate need. Treece keeps his possessions to a minimum. and reclaim something else from the wild?'" (56). She seeks to balance. " 'You're just like me' " ( 37 ). "collected people" ( 105 ). pomposity as well. which almost invariably takes the form of an internalized dialogue. alternately and masochistically. Their methods are different but their purpose is the same: to recoil from the contemporary. and start again in a new world. . where things are controllable. as scheduled. his moral inferiority -. Emma on the other hand is drawn to antiques (not only the harmonium she longs to possess but human antiques as well: Treece and the Bishops). or should one venture out. enter into any except abstractly. but whether he should." we learn. often. but he cannot act responsibly or. questioning her beliefs and assumptions. she is also made uneasy by him (as perhaps the reader is too). This would be merely selfcongratulatory sentiment were it not for Emma's (like Treece's) habit of carrying on internal dialogues. for his justified self-doubts give voice to her own feelings of being similarly marginal and inconsequential. either physically or emotionally. for the most part. however precariously. He draws his moral superiority -. But Treece is linguistically a parasite as well. you expect too much from life. as his choice of the word "parasite" itself suggests. Like Treece. More importantly and less comically. through and in language alone. All of this is much ado about very little. "'Oh. Similarly. where things are strenuous.'" Treece tells her. the abstract "liberal self" that she and Treece like to invoke as if it were some kind of magical charm and that sense of being "Just people" (as one of the novel's foreign characters puts it) that might represent either the fulfillment of the liberal dream or its defeat by democratic levelling ( 225 ). take a road test in order to secure a license to drive a motorscooter -. He can speak of responsibility. " 'And the question remains: is it right to stay in the protected corner. do or not do. if not a parasite like Treece.or. At twenty-six. she is. Treece's speech on the other hand tends towards monologic uniformity and. wildly inappropriate. "Emma. thinking in this way to keep his character free.deprecating irony characterizes Treece's thinking. she takes refuge from the contingencies of postGeorgian reality. then a Fowlesian collector. he can speak of the importance of human relationships. of course. including Treece. Although Emma admires Treece for his honesty. not so much to undermine or discredit them as to keep the moral search alive. It sounds at times weirdly misplaced. Emma has good rea-36son to worry and to hear herself in Treece's plaintive voice. but also the elderly Bishops in whose fastidiously middle-class Georgian home she rents a room.from an antiquated rhetoric divorced from both the speech and the facts of contemporary life. Endless examination of conscience leads Treece to accuse himself of being a "parasite. even make his moral imperatives sound convincing to others. but he cannot actually.a test he takes and of course fails several times. she is still trying to complete her thesis on fish imagery in Shakespeare's tragedies.

The reader hears. "it is well I am a liberal. was one of the romantic writers against whom the Angry Young Men revolted. out rowing with Emma... Bates is for Treece an obligation. It is not so much that Bates is an ambiguous character as a composite caricature. but he is as well (as not only the reader but Treece too understands) a grotesque version of what Treece himself is." Treece soon recognizes the voice as that of Bates." originally part of the manuscript version of the novel which Bradbury (wisely I believe) excised and subsequently published as a selfcontained short story (in Who Do You Think You Are?). and it is at this prosaically climactic moment that "from the far end of the table a voice suddenly spoke. and is. rebellious and visionary. "' I always enjoy myself. in Bates's comment. and can love all men. as Treece once was. who is. something of Treece's mental remark.. In it. And like Treece. immediately after.splendidly irreconcilable" character who seems to have stumbled out of a John Braine novel or a John Osborne play via Kingsley Amis into a fictive world where his "anger" appears even more comically inappropriate than Treece's moral musing ( 17 ). fails to protect her from the swans that begin to crowd around their boat. however.. ( Henry Treece. This aspect of their narrative relationship is made especially.. quoted earlier. it is worth noting. as well.. earnest liberals that they are. feel obliged to like Bates even as they recoil from him. It is through Treece's eyes and liberal biases that we first see the "fragmentary" Bates as "a curious mixture of the promising and the absurd.for if I were not. for example. such similarities are generally left implicit. In the novel. "his own half-self" ( 67 ) from whom he will never be free. suggested as parallels and.18 ). 17 .. a "fragmentary. Treece.could it be -37pride. he comes from a working-class background. Bates is drawn to both Emma and Treece.. espe-38cially.. equally important: the absence in Bates's speech of that self-deprecating but saving irony that characterizes Treece at his most self-aware moments.The test of the liberalism that Emma and Treece espouse is Louis Bates. and perhaps too insistently. I doubt if I could..) Not surprisingly. Bates is Treece's comically decrowning double who boldly and cartoonishly speaks what the timorous Treece allows himself only to think. clear in "The Adult Education Class. Bates's speech causes Treece to feel "shame in his apologist" and." "a kind of hideous juxtaposition of taste and vulgarity. Contemplating this . is prone to taking pratfalls. But I'm not so sure I enjoy other people'" ( 131 ).. "shame for being ashamed of his apologist" ( Who Do You 63 ). while lecturing to his adult education students (plus the marginal Bates." What the reader doesn't hear in Bates's comment is. heard as echoes." "his tone. he is twenty-six years old and therefore (especially as an undergraduate) older than the other students. who. Like Emma. moved by Treece's words. who. is earnest." a buffoon who cannot be taken seriously but who nonetheless possesses "good sense and taste" ( 13 . suddenly realizes that none of his students shares his assumptions and beliefs about literature. castigates the others for their ignorance and their ingratitude. who is neither entirely an undergraduate nor entirely an adult).a mixture of dejection and. The reader notices the same pattern of similarity and difference when Bates.

" 'If you don't touch up against people. His remark only serves to remind the -39 reader that Lear and Ahab cut one kind of figure and Bates quite another. only minimally so. . damn. What's wrong with me? I'm the plaything of gods. Precisely where Bradbury stands in relation to his novel and its characters remains unclear. expressing himself.. for example.. however. and it is precisely the absence of such dogmatic clarity that makes Bradbury's first novel especially interesting and rewarding despite its several weaknesses. the scapegoat'" ( 115 ). 'Damn. including the occasionally overplayed satire. universe?'" ( 21 ). Bates never does just "touch up against people". the whipping-boy. I suppose. he speaks not in tongues but in quotations. accepts William Blake's marriage as an appropriate model for his own.. an angry young novelist whose social rebellion is little more than a cover for his own self-centeredness. that it was impossible for Emma to think of them without either annoyance or amusement" ( 82 ). Not that Bradbury entirely detaches himself from Willoughby. again like Treece. He compares himself to Keats. A walking Bartlett's. which "had been so pompous and ill considered in tone. can shout rhetorically and "apoplectically. Emma's description of him as shabby and simian may be ungenerous. he first has to remember his Dale Carnegie. Instead he seems merely unformed. and when absent often serves as the topic of conversation. Prufrock. Everything about Bates is monologic. and with the same lack of self-awareness or ironic detachment. though in an even more exaggerated way. Bates adopts a typically Treece-like tone of romantic this a bounded. Even the detested Bates. the novel's most overtly parasitic character. thinking in cliches] saw as the salt of the earth. While he is certainly not one of "the civilized liberal middle class that Treece [as usual. his own absurdity. even glancingly. so monologically. you are nothing. you never define yourself.. or if aware. he thought. resistant to the dialogic flux. he cannot perceive. In the introduction he wrote for the novel's 1976 reissue. hard. or Treece's Chaplinesque precursor. yes or no." neither is he (as Emma's Bishops are) "selfengrossed" (211). and so unrelated to effective action. Bates appears simplistic and comically dogmatic: "'I just want a straight answer. echoing Treece. serenely unaware of the quotation marks that ironize his words. he bumps up against them.. Almost totally devoid of any self-awareness whatsoever. much less understand. he monopolizes all conversation. has his humanities. damn. The buffoon. a fixed point. in the form of a mental speech: "He wished he was a man of action. When present in a scene. you never exist'" ( 146 ). Bates follows a similar course. speaking not as author but instead in his role as author-writing-after-the-fact. Unlike Treece. including his love letters to Emma. Hamlet was just like me" (229). he wished he could do things. or boundless. The danger for Bates is that he can so easily become a younger version of Carey Willoughby. but it is not especially inaccurate. Physically. whose criticism of Treece echoes what much of the novel strongly suggests about Treece's liberal failings. Although he says.typically Treece-like act. Wanting to start a conversation with a girl at a party. Bradbury. Bates is so comic a figure precisely because he takes himself and his world so seriously.

a projection of my own commitments about the liberal humanism I. This "fact. everyone is treated as an inferior." neatly and ironically sums up Treece's situation. for example. "but oh you ought to see me now.. It is a disconcerting lapse in Treece's usual degree of ironic detachment." Treece knows. as Bradbury also notes in that same introduction.." he tells himself." One line of that song. in fact the first-generation student. pretentious. and the Bishops who (most?) interest Emma. all moral absolutes are at best suspect and at worst anachronistic. or even walk. The moral passions can drive one too hard. just as it is Bates who most interests Treece.. the reference seems to be made unironically and is. finds himself an outsider. his earlier identification of Pilate . whom Treece discovers is on the same ward following the most recent of Bates's romantic gestures. It is the same aptly titled song that he and the reader heard earlier in the novel. until. like Bates's. "became less and less what was viable.) Still unable to act. rather.. home from his travels.notes that he had written Eating People Is Wrong"from the innocent. still think. attempted suicide. mere posturing. as with Gulliver. like Bates. (That Bates should fail even at this seems appropriate in a blackly humorous way. It is the questioning that seems to dominate in the novel's final chapters. Moreover. "I Was a Big Man Yesterday. Perhaps it does. but in the world in which Treece. fascinated standpoint of the stu-40dent. it also reminds the reader of another song.. the one from which the novel draws its title. much to Treece's liberal dismay. Emma who most interests Bates. have no choice but to take some responsibility for Bates's behavior: it was Emma's telling Bates of her affair with Treece that led to his nervous breakdown and eventually to his attempted suicide. Confined to his bed. being what they are." or should be. For Melvin Friedman this means that as author Bradbury more closely identifies with his character Bates than with Treece (109). therefore. Treece." Bradbury has said. But as a piece of fifties' pop culture. for whom universities were both a novelty and a social opportunity" ("Introduction" 1). Treece is no better able to make liberalism's case than is Bates. -41however. after all. recovering from a mysterious illness. or was. however.[then] both espoused and questioned" ( 2 ). hears a song played. "wrong. Treece can. subtly distinguishable from. Treece is right. pondering his own situation in light of Bates's example: "what was proper. Treece "was considerably based upon my twenty-year-old self. Treece and Emma. It is a plausible but not entirely convincing claim. Treece who interests the reader (and the author/ narrator) most. ordinary life is hardly to be borne" (241). On the working class ward where. which are set in the same kind of open hospital ward of the National Health Service where they were written in 1958 while Bradbury recovered from surgery. "explains something of the texture and tone" of these chapters ( "Introduction" 3 ). "Eating people is. over and over. It is. but his comparing his predicament with Gulliver's reminds the reader of Bates's comparing himself with Hamlet. This time. but there is as well a certain logic at play.

victimized by the need for twelve hours' sleep a day" (47. James Walker. very shambling person in his early thirties. and Bradbury's later liberal characters. and felt as though this would be his condition for evermore. A New Life. which is to embody the liberal spirit in a post-liberal age. Compared at one point to "a stout predatory station pigeon. why don't people die or live happily ever after?'" ( 198 ). but a man whose conscience is a real force in the world. why aren't they resolved. Not being a reader of contemporary novels (they depress him too much). published four years earlier: "The past hides in the present" ( 32 ). and that from this he would never. never escape" (248). "the weakness of liberalism [is]. feeling contingency exert its ever increasing pressure on characters and author alike in novels whose plots (to use Seymour Chatman's useful distinction) are revealed rather than resolved. But to act is precisely what Treece. "The After Dinner Game. He might well have asked the author of Eating People Is Wrong the same question. not even Bates. perhaps cannot. for like his half-self. free himself from his alter-ego/echo. an . complexity without ceasing to function. dies. its chief virtue. like his creator. for no one in Bradbury's novel triumphs and no one. Stuart Treece. never" measures the extent of his fall into that usual Batesian mode: selfpity. Louis Bates. reshaped and reimagined. the author of Stepping Westward has not.and himself as "brothers under the skin" ( 26 ). who returns. Earlier in the novel... 31 ). As a character in Bradbury's television play. He is. cannot do. Treece's pragmatic Vice Chancellor asks Carey Willoughby why his novels don't have " 'proper endings.. Tending towards pratfalls as well as somnolence." Bradbury might just as appropriately have chosen for the epigraph to his second novel. Treece does seem -42 to deserve his fate. In part it is Malamud's Jewish-American story that hides in Bradbury's Anglo-liberal novel. a line from Bernard Malamud's own novel of academic westward ho. largely passive protagonist. And the lapse continues until the every end of the novel where Treece sees Emma. after all. though he indeed comes close. you might say. including the speaker of these lines. Walker never quite achieves (as Treece does) the level of Chaplinesque pathos. tension." points out. But it is also his own first novel. as an integral part of Stepping Westward's plodding." Walker is a "slightly thyroidic. His "never. He must be able to act" ( 31 ). Instead they linger on. To see both sides of a question is to risk being frozen into inaction but it is also the gift of recognizing contradiction. presumably ( Treece feels) for the last time. The liberal is a man of conscience. -43- 3 Stepping Westward: Dangerous Pilgrimages "THE FLUTE IS not a moral instrument: it is too exciting. "She went away and he lay there in his bed. Stepping Westward.

entails leaving his wife (a nurse) and young daughter behind. for example. James Walker husband and father. like the author conjured by reviewers of "Eating People Is Wrong". his world (in the form of provincial postwar England) has paid him little attention. barely adequate even for his own needs and certainly unable to withstand any real test. Patrice. for example. but slowly and uncertainly.English liberal and..this invitation as a validation of his existence as a writer. But even this James Walker exists in different versions: as the subject of a Time Magazine article. that his is a minimal morality. seemed a lonely amateur occupation" whereas "the climate in the States was much more explicitly favorable" ( 99 ). tainted from the very start by guilt and. while it is true that Walker has withdrawn from his world.or rather misinterprets -. 1 As his name suggests. At times they even seem to overwhelm and supplant the "real" self that Walker conceives himself to be. . The different versions of Walker shed important though often contradictory light on his character and never do quite come together in the form of a single. he interprets -. There is. quite apart." for Walker is plural. fighting to get out" ( All Dressed Up 11 ). more especially. likes the Walker novels she has read but nonetheless finds them " 'confused. -45through his fiction. He knows. there is James Walker the novelist known to others chiefly. Moreover. and then. there is no " Walker. ____________________ 1 As Bradbury has pointed out in an essay entitled "One Man's America. and of the verbal remarks made by Bernard Froelich. To go to the United States." "on the whole being a writer in England. or. Walker is on the move. least of all the formidable ones to which it is about to be subjected in the United States. "a niggling. certainly in the 1950s and probably still. or even exclusively. Consequently. beset by many of the same liberal doubts and misgivings that at once ennoble and paralyze Treece. a not-so-44angry-young-novelist. therefore. his iconoclastically titled novel The Last of the Old Lords in particular. as Bradbury has described his own late fifties' self. at least dimly.conceived by the other characters.. his liberation from England and all it represents is.uneasy figure struggling in my Englishness. for example. well-focused image. by Walker's awareness of his own limitations. rejecting the novels that America has accepted so enthusiastically. a multivoiced being that exists in the form(s) of internal dialogues and in the versions -. when the nationally neglected but internationally known Walker receives an invitation to become writer-in-residence for a year at an American university. However. the man responsible for bringing Walker to the all-too-American town of Party. the one who travelled to the United States. Froelich's wife.subfictions in effect -. of a piece in the university town's local newspaper. disoriented. though not necessarily on the author's preferred terms.

that he had "come to be loyal to being a writer. Stepping to the podium." that being a writer means "not being limited. only partly. Walker wants the kind of assurances that the novel withholds. He came to America to be "uncommitted. and twelve hours of sleep per day. which parallels Walker's. in Jochim's words. This new loyalty. He wants. even if. again plausibly. liberal ideals. Walker's dilemma becomes increasingly more difficult for him (and the reader) because he gradually develops a deeper awareness of just how "thin. he grows increasingly loyal to the provisional life he now shares with his American students and American friends. and his Lucky Jim-like speech in which he drunkenly explains why he cannot. given what Bradbury's reader already knows about Walker's character. instead. Like the reader. who lives not on hope.and a bit too obviously uncommitted and unfeeling' " (256). sign a loyalty oath. Walker doesn't actually believe in innocence. Like the reader who wants to remain loyal to Julie's reading of Walker (or alternately to Patrice's or Jochim's. vague abstractions. etc. Julie Snowflake. "a loyalist of nowhere. what he believes in is complexity. right. either to himself or anyone else. as required. he concludes.)."It was a decision of panic and fear. on not permitting -46 anything to be easy. Hers is a persuasive enough reading. though from what and for what he never makes especially clear. I am a pessimist and live on experience'" (353). therefore. adding that it was "disloyal" of him to come. as he soon realizes. but." "bland. which is to say to his idea of the liberal self. "a loyalist of the imagination" (301). the plodding hero acts freely. not on Dickensian great expectations. unwisely. the Nabokov-like Jochim. like the other characters. The reader would like to trust Julie's reading of Walker's character. It is (once again) a plausible claim. perhaps -47- . He wants to be. to be redeemed. as Patrice points out. on limited possibilities. does not lead either Walker the man or Walker the author to produce anything more substantive or imaginative than a few hastily written letters and telegrams to his wife. Walker wants to be loyal to himself. as he prefers to call it. even if these claims are couched in the form of a drunken babble in which Walker speaks not only to his audience but." and "uncreative" his British liberalism actually is ( 40 )." he says. and he knew that he would regret it" (309) -. even though not entirely accurate. another of Walker's readers." and. As he becomes increasingly disoriented. finds it difficult to reconcile the stiff and unnatural man she meets with the dynamic author whose works she has read and about whom she is writing her senior thesis. There is a certain reasonableness to Walker's claims. Choosing to forego his prepared text -.Walker lurches on. The same holds true when another character. however." or. he should not have to sign the loyalty oath (311). for example. tells Walker." 'You are an optimist and live on hope. of course. which in his case means impulsively and. younger but presumably more sophisticated. Moreover. She is. for "hope" is too grand a word to apply to Walker. on the other hand. asking for a divorce. but the fact that she accepts as true the New York Times article which transforms the "predatory station pigeon" into a political hero makes clear the reader's dilemma.

demonstrate those "tensions about location and nationality. Such a betrayal would. at first. either by giving away its deepest secrets or. That he ought not to have to sign the oath is clear. Emerson. therefore. the Boston Tea Party. but merely the words he assumes appropriate to this situation and this audience and in which the reader hears Walker's cadences but Julie's and Froelich's ideas. This comment. Lucky Jim. sense of Walker's moral superiority. and at times reluctantly. Bradbury's (implied) pun has. It stretches the head-versus-heart conflict of classic nineteenth century American fiction one stage further along. It is a word made flesh. is an affirmation of the freedom and independence that America claims to represent. as Bradbury has elsewhere remarked. The America to which Walker is slowly. by the words he has spoken: words which may not be his at all. Walker's refusal to sign the loyalty oath is his most distinctly "American" act: a Thoreauvian resistance to civil government's usurpation of the rights of the individual. as Bakhtin would say). though it does not actually deny the validity of what Walker has said. above all. "its varied carols. His English past hides below the surface of his American present. he is. to and with himself. In speaking as he has. the dark side of the American dream. for all his comic bumbling and indecisiveness. or rather. but that fact does not mean that he is right to speak as he does. have been. a bastion of illiberalism.more importantly. too much like Treece or Henry James' Europeanized American. in a less ironic and ambiguous age. more tangible. does nonetheless put his remarks in some doubt (in quotation marks. He is. its own serious dimension. Rather. His "no. and made more various as well. in the Cold War sense of the word. drawn is. for Walker is unAmerican. is left uncertain. by mistakenly opposing its (and therefore his) "true feelings. and the signing of the Declaration of Independence than of that most British of fifties' fictions. neither is he entirely a figure of fun for either his author or his reader. Walker is in fact surprised by his own words. it is depicted in such a way as to remind the reader less of -48Thoreau. if any. an institution that is at once the embodiment of "America" and its antithesis: home of the liberated (if not of the free and the brave) and. though the result of this variety is not necessarily a Whitmanic celebration of the nation's diversity. Yet his act of civil disobedience evokes in the reader little. make Walker a Benedict Arnold at Benedict Arnold. It is not merely that the echoes of Jim Dixon overwhelm those of Henry David Thoreau." According to (university) president Coolidge. alternately. less mythic." though hardly made in Melvillean thunder. But if Walker is not quite the moral touchstone that he might. He is. which mark modern art" ( Second Countries 38 ) and which Stepping Westward foregrounds. an emancipated mouth. and as a result Walker is unable to adapt to life in the United States. of course. Walker may have betrayed his heart. obligation and independence. Winterbourne. Brown's vision of a redemptive "polymorphous perversity" or something akin to Gogol's nose. one in that long line of expatriates to be found in twentieth century literature who. "surprised that his own mouth should have come round to this position before his heart did" (311). though not. perhaps. of course. an idea that gradually becomes substantive. though whether towards Norman O. it is the university's hospitality Walker has betrayed." One of the most . as one character points out. too stiff.

especially. There were two of us and you acted like there was only one'" (397). which (he noted) is at once idealistic and pragmatic. which insulates her from having to consider the results of her actions and which allows her to move through America as effortlessly as Walker moves through it slowly. as she once claims. She is right. the thirty-two-year-old English virgin whom Walker also meets while in transit to America. Dispensing sex and Kierkegaard in nearly equal measure. she seems to embody what D. is impossible to say. "Howdy Doody. Like Whitman. Miss Fern Marrow.important of these new voices is that of Julie Snowflake. have exhausted realism. one of "the careless people. Julie's surname is no less connotative than Miss Marrow's. In its way. wants to redeem him by remaking him in her own image. Whether she indeed loves Walker. -49 Virtually a caricature." neither is she as humanly concerned as she may at first appear. for example." . You let it beat you. As she explains. she seems to contain if not multitudes exactly then at least contradictions. of course. What is clear. for what it suggests is not only her dogmatic assertiveness and preference for style (and stylishness) over that stubborn sense of substance that Walker holds so dear. Her economic advantage is not shared by Walker. Miss Marrow nonetheless serves to remind the reader of that moral marrow. as Daisy Miller was. including Bradbury and Walker. in typically American fashion. his limitations. "'You gave in. It is a failure that in turn seems to have been fostered by the family wealth. You lost style. that inmost or essential part. which she claims to detest. but her emphasis is nonetheless disconcerting. her Daisy to his Winterbourne) to attain his level of self-criticism and self-awareness. near the end of their trip. as Fitzgerald's Daisy certainly is. suggesting. Although she is not. of "the American girl. pondering what he sees. whom she finds "encouraging" in that he hasn't "exhausted normality yet" (132) -any more than the English novelists. or rather accuses. or Julie's opposite. but her failure (playing as she does her Lolita to his Humbert. a certain childlike quality as well as some of the same iciness that characterizes James's Winterbourne. H. And her name may be no less ludicrous than Miss Marrow's either." she says [102]). the attractive undergraduate whom Walker meets while in transit to the United States and with whom he later travels around the American West and Mexico. however. Lawrence defined as the essential paradox of the American character. that Julie discounts as she travels rapidly -50through time and space. ponderously. as concerned about redeeming the world as fixing the plumbing. As ludicrous as her name ("like the vegetable." she nonetheless prefers Europe to America. Physically his opposite and temperamentally put off by his self-restraint and evasiveness. or simply. Jochim. recalling the Indian maiden Princess Summerfallwinterspring who used to appear on the popular 1950s American television show for children. she is nonetheless drawn first to his fiction and later to the man. is the degree to which she understands Walker's character and. if only as an undertone.

to acquire for himself a "soul mate. is certainly in Froelich's favor. Stepping Westward ends as it began. finally. however. Happy as the ever-grinning Froelich often is. "This was yet another reason for wanting the man. "all that Froelich could think was that he. or the child-like Froelich. In James's An International Episode. being American ( Bessie Alden claims) means being able to make all the mistakes one wants. his actions imply not a certain respect for but (on Bradbury's part) a certain criticism of the concept of the imperial self. it means something a bit different: doing anything one wants. who would reduce art "to simple order" ( 12 ). The Germanic harshness of its phonemes works against what the name means literally: gay. its complacency and relevance. he could be kept perpetually under observation" ( 26 ). In Bernard Froelich we find more than a merely acronymic echo of Benjamin Franklin. The goal of Froelich's "militant" liberalism is to spearhead a cause. achieves prove ultimately unsatisfying. since . Froelich's desires outstrip that ironic sense of Lodgean limitations which the novel's very form implies. with special reference to Post-War plight. suggests a similar dualism or ambivalence. having subsequently effected Bourbon's fall from power and his own rise to departmental chair. Skinner. Thus Froelich illustrates once again Bradbury's sardonic point that eating people is indeed wrong. and his name. The committee approves his request to use the fellowship money to fund a new journal which Froelich will edit and in which he will publish chapters of his oft-rejected book on " Twentieth Century Plight. his cheerfulness is itself as ambiguous as his reasons for bringing Walker to Party: to further his book. but the causes he spearheads seem invariably to involve solely his own personal advancement." Froelich reasons. At the earlier meeting. part of which concerns Walker's fiction. Froelich got what he wanted: Walker. "he could feed his life into Froelich's book. the author of The Bucket of Tragedy. with a meeting of the creative writing fellowship committee. Now. to test the English character." a living reminder of his brief stay in Britain.Bernard Froelich is another manifestation of the "idea" of America. especially his chairman. in which he condemns "all art not formally tragic in structure" ( 24 ). however. as Martin Green has noted. another transatlantic narrative -. and. and see what part of the equation would change" (316). from Franklin's interest in -51social meliorism. As the narrator -adopting Froelich's point of view and sounding a good deal like the narrator of The Education of Henry Adams." Yet even as he gains this victory. resembling less a monster than an exhibitionistic child demanding and usually getting his own way. merry. patron saint of pragmatism and selfadvancement. Hyde-like creature lurking in freedom's shadow. For Froelich. too. The fact that his chief American antagonist is the teetotaling archconservative Harrison Bourbon. cut free. Harrison Bourbon. a Mr. The American Adam becomes the American ego.points out: "he [ Froelich ] wanted to confront an Englishman with confusion. It is not the only transformation in Stepping Westward. Froelich gains yet another victory. cheerful. In such fashion Froelich effects the transformation of American liberalism into the American behaviorism of B. to explode the complacency of his departmental colleagues. F. But while his praenomen may suggest altruistic service. Such satisfactions as the child.

he was human. very much" (415)." which is to say the spontaneity of instinctual drives rather than. and he chooses as well to accept the role of the good "squire" while wistfully recalling his Kerouac-ean "days on the road" (402). the doubling of adverbs here. as it were. Walker the Anglo-liberal wants to "eschew definition". Brown's Life Against Death. very sorry" another ironic echo of Treece's terminal inconsequentiality and an equally ironic anticipation of Froelich's sad but superficial longing at novel's end. Walker chooses to return to his English home. In making this choice. for he knew already that it was pleasanter by far to be that man" (402). Consequently. his tendency (and Julie's) to skim the surface while the hapless and seemingly anachronistic Walker continues slowly on his pilgrim's progress. Unlike his precursor. "to work in with the wheels of history. it is Walker the audience. who creates in Walker's "sorry. 1977: 58). as at the very end of Eating People Is Wrong ("never. the nurse and mother who will nurse and mother him. is an egotism of the body. What Walker feels is not exclamatory and certain. Walker's willingness to settle for so little disappoints his Virgil and Beatrice. Adam. Walker the would-be American wants. but it is an undertone that is undermined by a further irony. or Anglo-American. to his drab but faithful wife. was missing Walker very. Feb. what ' America' has. very sorry. yet in a way deeply. England over America. reality over possibility. as he says. The reader hears." or what he alternately (and I believe more accurately) comes to judge as the "myths of dispossession" (387). pondering the plight of self and other in the postwar world. the dutiful student willing to learn the -52 lesson of the master. But the Bradbury whom Walker disappoints is not so much the author of Stepping Westward. commitment over liberation. though one suspects that. the Bradbury whom Walker disappoints is chiefly the writer who has subsequently . No. or rather as he thinks. Froelich and Julie. an undertone of sadness and longing. and it seems to have disappointed Bradbury as well. he manifests that "marked disposition" of the English novelist to "distrust all alternate lands of the imagination" ( Bradbury. comically. The effect of this deeper irony suggests the depthlessness of Froelich's character. and what Walker has not. Walker is drawn to the idea of America made flesh (in the person of Julie Snowflake) and to American egotism (as exemplified by Froelich in particular). only "sorry. Dickens' Martin Chuzzlewit. the repression of cultural abstractions (58). Anyhow! by any means!" (233). Froelich. that man being Walker as the American. as in Walker's case. never") serves to ironize Froelich's losses. Walker opts for people over myths. even more. In either case. Citing Norman O. The Walker he misses may be Walker the friend. the wistful Walker cannot proclaim that he "left home on a mad enterprise" and that his only hope "is to -53quit this settlement for ever and get back to England. Dangerous Pilgrimages. Martin Green claims that "what Froelich has.

the English past that corrupts Walker's American present and therefore prevents his existential release is also what saves him from. it is. or so his novel implies. half anxious. "his tragic trait. space corrupted by time." Walker reads in Harrison Bourbon's copy of A. but such resistance is entirely in keeping with Bradbury's own wish to preserve. nearly as simple and straightforward as Bradbury's after-the-fact description of its protagonist would make it seem. that "his escape to the West had thus far come to nothing. whose indecisiveness is not Hamlet's. and more specifically. which is also his greatness. Walker may be wrong to forego the "existential releases" that Julie offers him. Bradbury is nonetheless well aware of the American limitations. the essence of British liberalism and the viability of the liberal novel. and who. the other an all too solid land devoid of imaginative alternatives. the past contaminated self" ( 154 ). As Edwin Morgan has pointed out.there is obviously something ludicrous in applying Bradley's definition of the tragic hero to Bradbury's decidedly unheroic Walker. Feb." as well as a teacher who "throughout the fifties. Although his image of America may be far more appealing than Amis's. though he knows that he should" ( Dangerous Pilgrimages. not even Prufrock's. However. 1977: 62 -63). however." We need to remind ourselves that the author of Stepping Westward is also the author of a doctoral dissertation entitled "American Literary Expatriates in Europe: 1815 to the reader." eventually settled down "by the Humber in buttondown shirts reading Bellow and Mailer" ( Introduction" ix). The novel in which Walker appears is not.. fascinated by an America that -55- . one who is unable to "defeat his own innocence. Yet.aware of the English limitations" ( Dangerous Pilgrimages. as well as to test. as Bradbury has said of Kingsley Amis's One Fat Englishman. but which the hero cannot give" (225). Given where the reader sees Walker "placed" -. To meet these circumstances something is required which a smaller man might have given.the one a visionary world elsewhere devoid of historical as well as moral substance.. sitting on a toilet in a town called Party -.. Walker may understand that it is the existential American Adam that he would like to be. "Walker's various defeats" have to be weighed against "a certain respect he rouses.. but he is also dimly aware that "the wandering wilful self he had spent these last months upon was already starving to death for lack of sustenance" (402). 1977:64). perhaps not). Bradley's words do apply. Feb. "In the circumstances in which we see his hero placed. published two years earlier. The language here betrays -54Walker's feelings of guilt (perhaps deserved. Froelich's undeserved egotism and grinning manipulation of others.not in Hamlet or Macbeth but in a comic novel.described Walker as "my undoubtedly negative hero" ( Introduction xii). "a very ambiguous text. It also suggests Bradbury's necessary ambivalence towards both America and England -." who was offered faculty appointments on both sides. for example. however grotesquely. It is possible to say of Walker at the end of Stepping Westward what Malamud says of S. Rather.shuttled the Atlantic. married to an "Ur-English wife. C. is fatal to him. Levin midway through A New Life... half patronising. Bradley's Shakespearen Tragedy.

The America Walker imagines is "a universe of energy in which he might find himself at home" ( 34 ). moral as well as perceptual. In your novels the narrative line runs chronologically. it signifies something quite different: confusion and "anarchy. "'At bottom. the existential and the photographic: a world of architecturally imitative buildings gathered together as a huge and aesthetically tasteless collage college. as well as between English and American cultural sensibilities..seemed (as he points out in his Introduction to American Studies) at once a utopia and a dystopia ( 1 ).I sometimes figure that this is why American novels are more experimental than English ones. We live on the edge of chaos here'" (408). "'Ah. structurally as well as thematically. like everyone else in this reductively pragmatic America.Walker about Manhattan traffic: "'One automobile too many and this island stops. respectively. a spatial restriction. It is a realistic landscape that hints at both the slapstick and the surreal. It is a land and a landscape that is at once everything and nothing.or is it "fleeing"? -. they represent contrasting metaphors and alternative ways of perceiving life that he not only juxtaposes but also allows to challenge one another. that is because our visions and our experiences are more fragmentary and separate. less constrained. the American liberal and the American conservative. We each live in our own time and value zone'" ( 197 -198)."'where to start and where to stop'" ( 61 ). In Stepping Westward. as a confining presence. "' America is freefloating and anarchic. a realist's version of a Beckett set combined with Henry Adams' idea of multiplicity." For Walker. more expansive. less and less controllable" ( 194 ). the British writer has been drawn to America by its unformed vastness and boundless energy." Together these constitute one view of manichaean America. in setting and in style and pacing. the boundlessness of the new world presents its own difficulties. but the America he actually finds is a country that grows before his eyes "vaster and vaster. In its opening sections. For Froelich and Bourbon..'" Walker begins to understand even before he reaches the American shore. This is not to say that Stepping Westward ever becomes the kind of American novel that Froelich . to mediate between English and American narrative modes. the other being the arch-conserva-56 tism of loyalty oaths spawned by Froelich's brand of radical liberalism. chronological pattern that causes the reader to experience time. and why? Greenwich Mean Time. It is a world in which each township can vote its own time and where Walker. In American novels. Just as nineteenth century American writers such as Hawthorne and James were drawn to Europe by the richness of its history. As the dissolution of the European past in the American present suggests. as Walker does. America and England are not merely different geographical locations. But as the novel progresses. For Bradbury. The same point is made more directly late in the novel when a cab driver tells the departing -. it becomes. The Walker who arrives in New York sees before him a magnetic New World of possibilities and contingencies which simultaneously attracts and repels. point of view goes all over the place. indeed at times a tediously reductive. the novel follows a simple. Bradbury attempts.'" Froelich explains to Walker. this defines "real democracy. is expected to make choices without having any basis for the choices he makes. time and law are jumbled. that's the problem.

whose chief articles of faith are: (1) a not especially enlightened selfinterest. Walker finds that he has become. or merely a means to other people's ends? More and more this is precisely what Walker does become. who. who is attracted to American freedom but who wants something less extreme. Seeking to situate himself in history. boats against the current"). psychological behaviorism and political McCarthyism? And just how far can Walker go in his attempt to break free of his culturally induced repressions and be reborn before he becomes nothing more than a performing self. even as they go their transatlantic ways at book's end.before they lose their hold on what is best in the liberal and realistic traditions? How far can American liberalism go before it transmogrifies into either chaos or its opposites. he seems to be asking in his second novel. the frame device that Bradbury adopts provides an interesting and ironic commentary on the paradoxical nature of American political and narrative freedom: what the reader sees at the end of the novel is a group of Americans reenacting the same academic ritual portrayed at the very beginning. that the individual can indeed change his or her character and so can effect his or her secular salvation. the party of hope in Party. How far. something closer to an elusive middle way between commit-57ment and anarchy. like Party. Instead of resolution. can the English liberal and the English liberal novelist go -. His comments about his "undoubtedly negative hero" notwithstanding. The question that David Lodge raises directly in his sixth novel. wanting to be the man that Froelich (a vicarious novelist as well as critic manqué?) has imagined him to be. between English torpor and American (com)motion. has become physically stronger and psychologically more determined. How Far Can You Go?. He finds himself dispossessed of both the more or less stable irony to be found at the end of A New Life ( Gilley's "'Got your picture'") and the lyrical intensity at the end of The Great Gatsby ("And so we beat on. and (2) a firm belief that the past does not hide in the present. can Anglo-liberalism go before it degenerates into either moral paralysis or moral cannibalism? And how far. Instead of . But in returning to hearth and home. an object to be observed. Returning to England surely represents a defeat for Walker. Bradbury provides a ceaseless juxtaposition of voices in which each voice modifies the others.describes far west can they step -. In fact. thanks to his sojourn in America. He resists as well the drift towards dehumanization that seems to afflict the novel's various American Adams.a Moby-Dick or a Sound and the Fury. only "a concatenation of circumstances" (181). a man engulfed by the sands of American contingency. Walker does more than simply resist change. I strongly suspect that Bradbury agrees with his bewildered Walker. Bradbury seems to be asking in Eating People Is Wrong. is implicit in all of Bradbury's fiction and in a good deal of his criticism as well. leaving the reader poised somewhere between belief and clerkly skepticism and in possession of not so much an ending to this particular novel as a sense of an ending. The dialogue of English and American voices in the novel is -58 never resolved.

to escape is successfully cast off? The novel's answer seems to be that -. a literary echo of Margaret Thatcher's (and Ronald Reagan's) political conservatism. complicated by Bradbury's decidedly ambivalent portrait of America. Instead of resolution. -59- 4 The History Man: Engulfed by Sand STEPPING WESTWARD DEALS with the Englishman's as well as with the English novelist's need to cast off his cultural restraints. Bradbury provides a ceaseless juxtaposition of voices in which each voice modifies the others. The History Man."a little past would help" ( Two Poets 46). Instead of separating the voices. deals with the problem that this ambivalence implies and that the author's subsequent comments concerning his "undoubtedly negative hero" tend to mask. or monologize. He finds himself dispossessed of both the more or less stable irony to be found at the end of A New Life ( Gilley's "'Got your picture'") and the lyrical intensity at the end of The Great Gatsby ("And so we beat on. as he does in Phogey! How to Have Class in a Classless Society ( 1960) and All Dressed Up and Nowhere to Go ( 1962) -. even as they go their transatlantic ways at book's end.separating the voices. as he does in Phogey! How to Have Class in a Classless Society ( 1960) and All Dressed Up and Nowhere to Go ( 1962) -. boats against the current"). leaving the reader poised somewhere between belief and clerkly skepticism and in possession of not so much an ending to this particular novel as a sense of an ending. complicated and dialogized in that (1) it is in danger of being drowned out by the more insistent and clamorous voice of cultural fashion. a need that is. In another early poem. but fails. Bradbury articulates his dilemma in a self-consciously dated idiom. the other a send-up of the British version of American consumer society -Bradbury dialogically mingles them in Stepping Westward's very texture and on every one of its pages.the one a satire on English traditions. Such a modest claim borrow a line from Bradbury's poem. however. the other a send-up of the British version of American consumer society -Bradbury dialogically mingles them in Stepping Westward's very texture and on every one of its pages. -59never resolved. what happens when the past that Walker (for example) tries. however. namely. published ten years later.the one a satire on English traditions. and (2) it will undoubtedly sound merely reactionary. "Wanting Names for Things" -. in -60effect exaggerating a voice he even then presumed to be marginal: . His next novel.

and whose general affections Are in the family." 2 Although Michiko Kakutani has commented as recently as 1983 on the British writer's clear sense of vocation. more acutely. if not a difficult and a challenging environment. Bradbury feels. But in The History Man. under historical pressure.And I. more anxious. his language. like being out of business.. as Bradbury has defined it. "The British writer is less confident now about his audience. is "a set of virtuous principles which are secreted in our culture without necessarily being functional in our culture" (Interview with Bigsby 66). suddenly made more clearly marginal in an age in which literature no longer enjoys the support of its culture. "In a sense my liberal humanism might be said to be a capacious envelope which I am prepared to put around many different things. Bradbury's aim is "to consider the ecology of modern writing in England. to fashion his own ____________________ 1 Liberalism. Four years and one novel (The History Man) later. These changed circumstances necessitate a renegotiation on the writer's part of his place and practice in the culture. his own role. Like his own character. have become not only socially but intellectually at -61 risk. who have lived so long in the comfort of A relative happiness. wife and son. Nostalgic for big houses. James Walker. the liberalism that Bradbury previously sought both to test and to preserve. potentially a threatening environment" (258). because so many of "the liberal and humane virtues close to much art. As Bradbury explained to an American audience in the early 1970s. emulation by ego. television. "Symposium" 211). Elsewhere he has noted. Look. and sociology. The latest Amis novel is merely a scared Lucky Jim" ( Honan. and to explore it. but less sleepily. Bradbury makes much the same point: "we live in an age in which fiction has conspicuously grown more provisional. 2 Bradbury's critique of sociology began some years before with his comments in Phogey! ( 1960) and All Dressed Up ( 1962) where he claims that with the rise of sociology "conscience was replaced by pure behaviour. to the point where they become totally inconsistent with each other" (Interview with Haffenden 51). well-kept lawns. as in The Social Context of Modern English Literature ( 1971). an age which has turned away from the novel and imagination and towards film." He finds himself displaced." In fact the word "threat" begins to appear in his writings from the early 1970s on with considerable frequency and urgency. what he rejects is the definitiveness of that or any perspective which puts "society first and man in it second. tradition by . that he then placed under various "strains. I'm afraid." 1 Bradbury accepts the sociological perspective that has largely usurped liberalism's place. But Bradbury makes the point in a manner which suggests that he has found a way to transform his anxiety into art. than it was a few years ago" ( Novel Today 8). more selfquestioning. it is precisely this sense that the sociological perspective has effectively undermined. (Two Poets 29) The tone here is as wistful as it was genial in the first two novels. In that work. a bourgeois bore." is now under "threat.. New novels seem timidly technical. The crisis is particularly acute. Bradbury the writer feels "out of business.

Rather than lamenting the loss of characters. feebly asks the protagonist to cease and desist. Vonnegut-fashion.. A writer who shares Bradbury's concern over the misguided importance attached to sociology in the modern world is Walker Percy: ". and the alltoo-easily defined writer who appears briefly in it. it would be better. there was no more moral scruple and concern.sociology is a simplification. under the pressure of contemporary change. Richard Todd considers this encounter between protagonist and authorial clone "a very crucial passage." Todd adds. "is a very poignant one" ( 177 ). Bradbury's out-of-business novelist refuses and. radicalchic-mau-mau protagonist. A novelist should be concerned with what is the case in the world. ten years before. no new moral substance to be spun" ( 204 ). find themselves in the age of both Aquarius and Sociology. yet this relinquishment has been implicit in the very act of writing his novel.20 ). Bradbury. I believe. as Angloliberal novelists. Looking a good deal like Bradbury and possessing a similar academic appointment and list of publications. in the modern world and the modern novel (as Bradbury's whilom novelist undoubtedly would do were he one of . The author of The History -63Man enters into a dialogue with his age.. "is unwilling to relinquish Miss Callendar to the forces of radicalism. The same cannot be said of the fictive novelist who appears briefly in The History Man." ( 78 ). And it would be much more fruitful to attend closely to their quite different responses to the situation in which both." He seems to have discovered the necessary means by which (as John Barth pointed out in his Literature of Exhaustion essay) "an artist may paradoxically turn the felt ultimacies of our time into material and means for his work -paradoxically because by doing so he transcends what had appeared to be his refutation. ancestors by angst" and that although novelists and sociologists use the same basic material. the facts. published two novels of "moral scruple" but who has since been silent. Instead of dwelling on the "poignancy" of the novel's moral paradox.. to distinguish more carefully between the novel's elusive author. he claims. "as if. sociologists "do a random sample first" ( All Dressed Up [ 1986 ] 125. -62brand of Lodge's "problematic novel. largely through subtle parody. responding obliquely and in decidedly contemporary fashion rather than directly and anachronistically. the richness. he is a man who had. The fictive writer withdraws into the same silence from which he emerged. manifesting. the intricacy and the variety of the way things are" ( 19 . The moral paradox. Todd's language betrays his rather sentimental reading of Bradbury's rather unsentimental novel. Asked to divulge the heroine's address to the novel's perhaps dastardly. in a novel of great risks and equally great achievement. an abstraction from what is the case. 92).trauma. and of character.." The novelist. a keen awareness of his cultural milieu.

.'" Barbara tells her husband. responds. In such a line the reader detects the sound of authentic anguish and human longing. rounded figure. as with so much of what Barbara says in this novel. That is a role played by "an actor called Leon" who. At once loathesome and likable." including lover. The exploiter in this case (and in most others in the The History Man) is her husband. they wish to be more of the essence. however. In some cases they are rendered as nothing more than human causes of observable effects: "A window smashes. the center towards which all the others gravitate and around which they revolve.. and causes feel dissatisfied. both more and less than what they may at first seem." for example. less merely of the existence. of their diminished selves. 68 . we find a woman "whose name is Flora Beniform. by making "a minimal suicide attempt" ( 118 ) as Flora calls it. and "some people called the Kirks. Kirk is. 1 . From his long hair and Zapata moustache to his "Habitat" alarm clock. by rising from the level of sub-plot to main narrative. Prokosch in Bradbury's short story. "'I'm not the only one like me'" ( 53 . " 'I'm telling you that your gay belief in things happening doesn't make me feel better any more'" ( 17 ). 1979: 42 ). roles.Forster's rounded creations). The novel's characters are almost entirely their roles. either like Henry." "angling for a little place in history" by peddling her bottle of George Bernard Shaw's sperm to the highest academic bidder (Who Do You 88 ). Like the fictive novelist who would save Annie Callendar if he could.. He is a decidedly ambiguous character in a double sense. when Barbara says she doesn't know what she will do while he's away on tour. wholly and solely a man of his particular times. and save as well the idea of character that she represents. her understandable yet nonetheless largely fashionable feminist claims about having been exploited. and slashed it savagely on the glass" ( 93 ). but. Bradbury writes in such a way as to incorporate the loss of character into the very texture of his novel.. he transforms the fictive novelist's impotence into a remarkably effective and distinctly contemporary moral style. as Bradbury later felt compelled to point out.the cause is Henry Beamish. 196 ). As one of them tries to explain to Howard. On the one hand he is the novel's most fully realized. and on the other hand he is a walking abstraction. Jan. He is the essential character. "'I don't think you understand what l'm telling you. Kirk. cankerous and charismatic. In a novel in which even the modernist-looking universities are managed like factories. "There are many roles for a Howard to perform in a modern society. who wants "to turn style . the "presence" against which their relative "absence" may be measured. Aware. a social psychologist. a latterday Don Giovanni who enjoys what virtually all of the novel's other characters lack. They do so.'s hard to know -64you're little. their professions. though not his wife's lover." Howard and Barbara. playing their assigned parts in the novel's various plots. a thoroughly dehumanized history man. her authenticity is undermined by her habitual selfpity. "more serious and competent than to some reviewers he has seemed" ( Dog. their names.. however dimly. Bradbury's as well as each other's. "'. who has put his left arm through and down. the characters appear interchangeable. Howard Kirk. Such pleas are.. most of the novel's collection of names. or like Mrs. 52 .people like to make themselves matter'"( 126 ). or like Annie. In doing this. "Nobody Here in England.

is that instead of using characters in his historical plots. not so carefully. the larger. (By "sociology" Kirk means "social tensions. Although conscientiously opposed to bourgeois individualism and privacy. to order the chaos.17 class meets in "an interior room without windows. [It is] a big universal story'" fantasized . he keeps his van locked and the manuscript of his new book. alienated sectors. England.into quality" (Interview with Haffenden 26). you have to plan it carefully" (6-7). He appears locked in a vast Skinner box of his own making. What does not correspond to his vision of the world. she claims that it reveals him as a " 'poseur'" who has "'substituted trends for morals and commitments'" and who has turned their lives "'into a grand plot. to his sociological theories. of true living" [ 41 ]). Part of his problem is that he can make monological sense of everything. That his Socsci 4. Howard possesses a "passion to make things happen" ( 53 ). he is "'what we have instead of faith'" ( 8 ). as his wife points out. twilight areas. is nothing if not "relevant. to intervene in. Like Froelich. race issues. battles between council and community." a "great magician of the feelings" -. novelists and history men. Where Kirk differs from the novelist. for all his manipulative and imaginative power. first -65described by Jung. class -66struggle. he espouses liberation." He represents the next stage in the secular pilgrim's progress. Kirk is both Prospero -.. even suicide. the author's third). Howard simply reasons away. whether liberal or postmodernist (or some combination of the two. When his wife reads his account of "the exemplary Kirk story" in his first book. grander. a cannibal. as a postmodernist would argue. to make reality (a reality that is full of theories and action but devoid of people and values). Kirk sees a world that confirms his vision all too well -. the token resistance" ( 13 ). if you want to have something that's genuinely unstructured. carefully out of sight (or.and Caliban. Where Bradbury finds a world that conforms less and less to his Angloliberal ideals. blind to the limitations and factitiousness of his sociological point of view. or. more splendid plots that are plotted by history" ( 6 ). Skinner than to those of Wilhelm Reich: ".. plotted by people like Kirk. but his politics seem closer in practice to those of B. he uses people. Observing the clerk in a wine store. rather. Having completed his new book (like The History Man. lit by artificial light" ( 127 ) serves metaphorically to underscore the narrowness of his perspective in general and of his particular brand of sociology in particular. Kirk now feels the need "to be back into.or perhaps just all too easily. for whom eating people is anything but Howard always says. it is as if Kirk wants to have his manuscripts discovered and read. his privacy violated). The Defeat of Privacy. Kirk is rather possessive. Kirk is in fact considerably less liberated than he believes. However. from priest to psychiatrist. as Bradbury seems to be here). "Howard sees with gratification the indignation of the employed and "impresario of the event. On his magic island. F. the stuff. in short. His limitations are evident as well in his tending towards monologue. and now to sociologist.

"'you've not read it properly'" -. "The trouble with our "'a kind of self-made fictionalized character who's got the whole story on his side just because he happens to be writing it'" ( 31 .not only avoids this danger. as appealing as he is loathesome. as her name suggests. and Annie Callendar. and indeed throughout the novel. is "an attractive and popular story for the times". The "exemplary Kirk story" mentioned above. "is. But as Flora Beniform points out to Howard. after all. there were certain elements of skepticism that needed to be introduced for probability's sake. who. the tension or dissonance between paradigmatic form and contingent reality" ( 133 ). perhaps even complicating and improving it" ( 31 ). 3233). Not that the opposition is narratively quite so clearly defined." psychologist Beniform tells sociologist Kirk. Here. "traces" invariably remain in a novel that successfully mingles Anglo-liberalism and "endless semiosis.. self-realizingly. placing all interpretations in figurative quotation marks. a danger always present in the critical ambition" ( "Modernism/Postmodernism"327). the "earlier tellings" of "the exemplary case of the Kirks" (as it is alternately but not quite synonymously called) "had concentrated on the liberation plot.. Individual readings are never corrected or cancelled ("erased") completely.but not the history man -. But after a while. So too does Bradbury. We tell old-fashioned stories" ( 113 ). as Frank Kermode has noted. it takes the tendency towards such closure as its underlying subject. interprets one ambiguous occurrence -. represents the escape from the plot of History (as Kirk defines it) to the contingency and freedom of individual days: the openness of her "calendar" versus the closure of his very full appointment book. for example. the reader finds "a kind of crisis in the relation between fiction and reality. The History Man -. a chance or a contingent event" upon which no "meaning or purpose" has been imposed. readings. Howard's response -. she (like Treece and Walker) -68 ." Howard. and it is precisely this awareness that marks The History Man as a distinctly contemporary novel. through the exploding consciousness of man in "a happening. Howard is. Bradbury emphasizes a postmodernist blurring of fact and fiction as well as an open-ended multiplicity of arbitrary versions. it is a novel in which. and therefore to the reader. for especially illuminating when read in the context of a remark Bradbury makes a short time later in an essay on moderism and postmodernism in which he notes that "the danger [for literary critics] is to reach the point of critical closure too soon and too confidently. to call the occurrence an accident imposes its own meaning. the high priest of paradigmatic (and entirely abstract) History.. and misreadings of events and people. and while Annie represents the strengths of the liberal aesthetic. In The History Man this crisis is dramatized in the conflict between Kirk. not utterly disconfirming -67the tale of a couple moving buoyantly.Henry's injury -. That is to say. we still believe in motives and causes. but like Flora he is aware that the story he tells is old-fashioned (in its Anglo-liberal preoccupations).

and in doing so he extends the boundaries of liberal fiction. to read the note as an explanation of the novel which follows it rather than as an integral part of that novel. postmodern fiction. adding " 'l've always found reality a matter of great debate'" ( 143 ) -. derived from Henry James and Lionel Trilling. are in fact as anachronistic (and therefore vulnerable) as Howard's are fashionable (and therefore seemingly impregnable). It would be as grave a mistake as choosing to overlook or undervalue the "Author's Note" in order to facilitate one's reading of The History Man as conventional. Her views are noble but. Howard claims that Barbara is trying to do away with theory. What he achieves is not a "humanistic balance" of self and history. Just as Howard molds contingency into his sociological image. However. In her critique of Howard's third book. She seeks refuge in the illusory stability of a Victorian neighborhood (from which cars are banned) and in the formal perfection of lyric poetry. or history. but something more significant because it is more viable: a dialogue between the individual self and the abstract theory. between liberal novel and postliberal. I believe. where life's contingency is welcomed and the otherness of other people is lovingly insisted upon" (Cunningham). All of this makes her easy prey for Kirk's brand of urban and psychic renewal. as Ronald Hayman has charged. However. one that is subject to the same degree of irony.also embodies its limitations. Bradbury brings the two sides together. connotative possibilities over denotative meanings.of the traditionally liberal fiction. Insofar as it rejects the novel's mimetic function. would be. The History Man is not. To read the note as explanation would not only univocalize as well as privilege the postmodernist "author's" commentary on his text... as neither Howard nor Annie can. It is for this reason that the novel is of far greater interest and complexity than the prefatory "Author's Note" suggests. The dramatic conflict between Kirk and Callendar is therefore of no more interest than what it implies concerning the conflict between the liberal tradition and the postmodern example. it would also render that text superfluous by explaining it away in advance. "consumable" fiction. the individual and the -69abstract.her views. the note makes clear its affinity to literary postmodernism." that is the hallmark of the liberal novel is precisely what Howard and Annie. by Bradbury's allowing Annie to succumb to Howard's sexual (and ideological) advances -. The novel would be nothing more than the inevitable result of the postmodernist theory which conditions it. Barbara complains that Howard is trying to do away with action and people. The History Man. the contingent and the paradigmatic. She stands for the figurative over the literal. the moral conscience over the merely social (or totalitarian). in response. "a defence. In his third novel. therefore. Nor is the novel weakened. a grave mistake. no longer viable.'" she tells him. Annie recoils from it. in a world made in Kirk's image. as one reviewer has confidently claimed. The "humanistic balance" between "the reality of persons" and "the reality of society. fail to achieve (Possibilities 13 ). in their quite different ways. Although she may at times sound up-to-date -"'It must be nice to think there is a true reality. if we accept Roland Barthes' .a criticism that tells us less about the novel than about the reviewer's nostalgia for the moral supremacy of the liberal view ( 43 ).

the liberal novelist. "Carmody wants to be what he says he is" (131) -. he depicts Annie's opposite. the note is not Bradbury. we will form a clearer idea as to why it is necessary to distinguish between the author of the note and the author of The History Man. or liberal versus behaviorist (or postmodernist). instead. it is one of a number of voices to be heard in a dialogic novel whose own Bradburyan author is himself nothing more and nothing less than the uncertain intersection of authorialnarrative voices. The author of. -70The dialogic novel resists both the abstraction of dialectical thinking and the reductiveness of manichaean dichotomies. even slapstick fashion. repetitious. for example. S. Flora Beniform. Beamish. Although clearly a member in good standing of the therapeutic society that Bradbury satirizes (and a few years later. Bradbury. She has conceived of it as a tactical advance on the traditional psychiatrist's couch. and manages to reinvest fornication "with new purpose and significance. Interestingly. he plays old against new. The curmudgeonly George Carmody. or in. He recognizes both the truth and the inadequacy of their views in a world of Kirks and Watermouths. where everyone must conform to the rule of non-conformity.. while Carmody appears as an undergraduate T. The history of the University of Watermouth. "a social control and delinquency man" ( 167 ). (The two are." (177). and where the rooms are "all like this. which is to say that it is an academic remake of Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times. In this capacity. or anyone else's. It is true. ruin. that Christopher Lasch. one of Annie's advisees. in a far more appealing way. In such an aggressively and architecturally modern environment. despite the fact that she is in many respects simply the -71embodiment of the same illiberalism to which Kirk and Watermouth are committed. Even worse. he has all of the (liberal) tradition but little if any of the individual talent to shore the fragments against his.) It is less a university than a factory devoted to high productivity.. that The History Man does at times tease the reader with the possibility of simple oppositions. Cloaked in a blue school blazer. a nonplace where privacy is impossible. however. suffers from a severe "mental condition": he has a "linear mind" (132).contention that who speaks is not who writes and who writes is not who is. but also reluctantly. tends towards pratfalls. realistic liberal tradition against both the behaviorism which Kirk practices (even if he does not espouse it) and the postmodern play towards which Bradbury seems increasingly. stark. each one an exemplary instance of all the others" ( 62 ). such as old versus new. very nearly coextensive. Bradbury often depicts these characters in decidedly comic. . distances himself from his liberal characters. in fact. the history of modern times" ( 64 ). appear not merely freakish but psychologically deviant." turns all personal relationships into grist for the mill of her research into the politics of family life. conservatives such as Annie Callendar and Henry Beamish. She refuses "to be counted on. Eliot. simple. where every person and every action is observed and analyzed.a sure mistake at Watermouth where mythotherapy has supplanted the liberal self. "in encapsulated form. drawn. is. for example. made (again) in Kirk's exemplary image.

or even manipulate. and so in dialogue with. Thus. 336. if the contradiction between our humanist expectations and our sense of ourselves as exposed historical performers is to be expressed" ( 7 . The harsher world of the 1970s demands its own "accelerated grimace. Flora attends closely to language. Bradbury's style suggests considerably more: an "intense [Jamesian] stylization." selfreferentially "criticizing itself. she is also the only character in the novel whom Howard is unable to dominate. Bradbury wrote an introduction for a reissue of his first novel in which he pointed out that Eating People Is Wrong "is a more generous comedy than I would write now. It is not merely that he has become a more experienced writer but that he has shifted his interest from narrative action to narrative texture.. is characteristic of all novelistic discourse. It is precisely in meeting this formidable challenge that The History Man succeeds so well. to paint. She understands Howard at least as well as do any of the other characters. in a world that has so changed. because style is indeed a facet of history and changes with "the problem of representing the image of a language" ( Dialogic 49. In the novel. not because this is the fashionably postmodernist thing to do.Writing more recently." As Bakhtin goes on to point out. I have found comedy needs to become a more precise. the age it reflects in what may at first appear to be either a conventionally realistic or merely funhouse mirror. in the contemporary age. As physically attractive as she is intellectually (and physically) imposing. but itself serves as the object of representation. especially to those interpretive ambiguities that Howard avoids. Bradbury attends closely to his novelistic language. And he has done so. Consequently. my italics). I have found it harder to write in this spirit. Bakhtin has claimed. a harder instrument." Steiner's comparison is especially interesting given Bradbury's remark. But . to produce a piece of music is to enact and attempt to realize a form of historical consciousness" ("Modernism/Postmodernism"311). "the central problem for a stylistics of the novel" -and of course for the novelist -. in "A Dog Engulfed by Sand. certainly more closely than in either Eating People Is Wrong or Stepping The Culture of Narcissism rebukes). Flora gains a measure of the reader's and the author's approval. Shortly after The History Man was published." that James's later fiction "owes much of its complexity to the problem of finding a grammar accurate to the act of perception" ( Nov. In parallel fashion. either sociopolitically or sexually. language "not only represents.. in The History Man we have the foregrounding of what. the short story "Who Do You Think You Are?" and a television play entitled "The After Dinner Game. . but because "to write. Attempting such an aesthetic has become an increasingly self-conscious activity in the past few decades. 1978: 56 )." a harsher style equal to but also critical of. according to Bakhtin. Flora has had a special appeal for Bradbury who has included her as a character in two variations on his History Man theme. For George Steiner." Like Annie. this historical consciousness must inevitably center on the communication processes that are no longer merely the means to some higher truth (content) but are the end (subject) them-72selves.8 ). a more economical.

" Halio is right about the Kirks but wrong to impose a monologic reading on Bradbury's most dialogic novel. I take it.' The good place for a serious . equal to the act of perception is itself compounded by the writer's sense that. Cuts is merely self-indulgent and redundant: a blot on the literary landscape. instructive in its own devious way. they please but they do not bring about the kind of renegotiation of style and substance that Bradbury wrote about. In The History Man Bradbury turns the merely stylish (and therefore morally substanceless) against itself. and cant. the nine parodies included in Who Do You Think You Are ( 1976. "Perhaps. for in The History Man there is no single interpretive key which can be used to unlock the novel's meaning. Unlike The History Man. It hints at the flattened. the most artful and the most artificial of Bradbury's four novels. And the same can be said of Bradbury's very recent bestseller Cuts: A Very Short Novel ( 1987). are really automatons wrapped tightly in a rigid set of maoist principles. Bradbury's meditation on the fate of liberal man in the postmodern. There is no dominant key and no dominant language either. only languages and minimalist variations in this. reductive nature of contemporary reality and. so that stylistic presentation passes into the foreground.. It is instead and at best a pleasurable but hardly blissful satire on the plight of the academic novelist seduced into writing for British television. or style. a Bradburyan renegotiation. which is not a novel at all. that is. Bradbury masters it parodically. of contemporary speech: ". The "primer type of narration" identified as such a key is indeed pervasive and. The History Man is much more subtle and much more effective. an elaborate exploitation of a single metaphor." a send up of deconstruction) are fun but obvious. postliberal age.. in the 1970s. as in Donald Barthelme's fiction. this being the novel's distinctive and complex narrative voice.. Jay Halio writes that "The key to Bradbury's satire is the primer type of narration he uses to show how the Kirks. it is not. cliches. Instead of surrendering moral depth to surface texture. Compared with the The History Man. an ironic renegotiation of the relationship between style and substance. so far from being the free people -74they think they have become. reprinted with an additional parody. "Mensonge..the problem of finding a grammar. fashionable attitudes. It strongly suggests that Bradbury requires the relative expansiveness of the novel form (as he defines it) for his imagination to best realize itself." Bradbury has written. and content is minimalised in the background. more importantly. In his review of The History Man. "moral convictions had been displaced by a sense of style" ( After 16 ). largely due to the very element that had to be omitted in adapting the novel for British television. 'it's a good place for a serious talk. Parody is.the feeling of substantial reality is dissipated by plurality and irony. says Henry. "what we live in is indeed an age of parody: an age when. and unlike Rates of Exchange. the result is that in some sense both become absurd" ( "Age" 44 ). It was a displacement Bradbury not only perceived but had to avoid as he became increasingly preoccupied with -73novelistic texture.

though never so radically as to dispel entirely the illusion of narrative sameness. its second bedroom that doubles as study. with its high sunshine record and its palms and its piershow and its urban demolition. with its goodsized living-room. for example. for example. At times. well-fitted galley kitchen. in the adult modern version. for example. The childlike and the contemporary exist side by side and at times merge into what may best be described as the style of an adult fairy tale.a deliberately centerless prose equivalent of its glossy but morally depthless age. who preferred "to make a delicate adjustment to the tone of the telling" ( 35 ). modern service flat. Bradbury clearly follows Forster's example. ( 35 ) It is. and giving parties.for the Kirks. whatever else they have done." for example." the narrative turns into that of a sales pitch. in which the language mirrors the coyly self-conscious naivete of the Kirks and of the modern age they exemplify: And that. 3 The apparent seamlessness of the novel's narrative voice masks a multiplicity of vocal shadings. methodology and organization" [ 6 ]). In recording a meeting of the sociology faculty. In The History Man. more or less. it is quite evident in informed hindsight. and. modern service flat. the novel's language proves unstable. it slides and metamorphoses continually. have always gone right on growing. -75("They had married. in order to reconstruct precisely that sort of family situation in which they had grown up" [ 23 ]). However. buying wine and cheese and bread. its bathroom with . a perceptual distortion or two there. growing some more -. a dark ambiguity in this place or that. of course. Bradbury adapts his pace and language to mimic the brusqueness of an actual meeting and more especially the biases and idiolect of professional sociologists. the narrative echoes the strained objectivity and pseudo-scientific syntax of a sociology textbook ____________________ 3 In What is a Novel? Bradbury distinguishes between Thackeray. above all.or sounds like -. or "the floors are being cleaned by a cleaner with a cleaner" ( 164 . turns almost imperceptibly into something that reads like -. as Howard explains. and elsewhere it mimics Howard's own prose style (in which "urgent feeling breaks up traditional grammar. and Forster.the voice-over for a documentary: an anonymous voice describing what the panning camera-eye "sees. is the exemplary and liberating story. echoing the subtle suck and sell of these modern hard times: "They lie there in the master bedroom of Flora's compact. who chose to intrude on the action and editorialize about it. The primer style. But when the narrator describes Flora's " is down in the city." But there are other identifiable (if not narratively identified) voices as well. The language clearly mirrors the redundancy and emptiness of Bradbury's all-too-contemporary characters. of how the little northern Kirks came to be down in Watermouth. minute variations on the novel's liberal-linguistic theme. a chameleon style that takes on the protective coloration of its immediate environment -. give or take an element of self-interest here. 163 ).

all described by the letting agents as perfect for modern living.) The reader can play the part of neutral observer. in effect he invites the reader to share in the authorial narrator's detachment and sense of moral superiority: "One thing about the house was that it was very conveniently placed for the kinds of social problem that. the narrative (to say nothing of the authorial) voice in this novel is hardly stable. more insidiously. The sense of the times has entered into the very texture of Bradbury's prose in the same way that the verbs "prod" and "penetrate" appear with dismaying frequency in order to suggest the sexual aggression that underlies Howard's conception of society. there was a handy abortion clinic. "the stable ironic voice of the author ensures that the reader can observe and evaluate Howard's version of the past and his imposition of various images and plots upon the present" ( 51 ). the number of clever ironies ("within walking distance. over the last few years. only at his own peril. We can see the way in which Bradbury achieves this effect by comparing a -77sentence from the novel with a very similar one from "Who Do You Think You Are?" In that story. But in the novel. Bradbury foregrounds his satirical intent. "In The History Man. who can at times detect the more obvious ironies and so congratulate himself on his own perceptiveness. had become Edgar's stock-in-trade. but who more often than not moves serenely and effortlessly through Bradbury's narrative minefield. and ideal for the professional single person" -76( 175 ). Kirk's own point of view ( Interview with Bigsby 74 ). lapsing into passivity as he reads a text that both delights and detonates. (And Callendar and Carmody are not simply stable but static and therefore anachronistic. of passive consumer of Bradbury's product. and a twilight area with a severe problem of immigrant overcrowding within walking distance. Bradbury's prose implicates the reader. The novel pretends to objectivity. as we have already seen. Except for characters such as Annie Callendar and George Carmody. and a hippy commune nearer still." Patricia Waugh has written.bath and fitted shower.and the culture it mirrors -is to be resisted successfully (which is to say on grounds other than those proposed by Callendar and Carmody). a deceptive disingenuousness. often sing-song descriptions mask a cultivated simplicity." "accessibly by. and an active Sinn Fein group accessibly by" ( Who Do You39-40).) have been reduced and the distance between subject and narrator/reader shortened to the point of being virtually nonexistent: "It is an ideal situation for the Kirks. close to the real social . there are no moral or narrative still points from which to evaluate Kirk. However. in the elegant block in the landscaped grounds in the leafy suburb. and herein lies the novel's moral strength and aesthetic integrity. The novel's matter-of-fact language invites effortless consumption but in fact demands the reader's close attention and even active participation if the linear thrust of the novel -. The easy-to-read." etc. There were squatters two streets away. but this objectivity is deceptive in that it reflects not "the stable ironic voice of the author" but instead the "chosen blindness" of Bradbury's narrator and.

That Bradbury excessively details this situation is not. (133). the beach. a weak little plot. the phrase "in Howard's eyes" has the effect of misleading the unwary reader.. Bradbury uses details less to create a Jamesian solidity of specification than to produce a numbing effect. close.problems. its ideas are fictions or pretences. the welfare offices. to the stuff of ongoing life" ( 4 ). Connotatively. a sense of reductive equivalence. of things happening. without active awareness. -79- . has so much to do with true intellectual awareness. the family planning clinic. It is an attempt to make realism viable in the postmodern age. Like the "present-tense grammar" that Bradbury adopts throughout the novel and that serves to create that aura of immediacy. A second. of which Kirk would surely approve. sometimes overlapping. it implies that the remainder of the passage presents the narrator's completely independent and entirely trustworthy valuation of Carmody's essay. as one reviewer claimed. the radical bookshop. Denotatively it assigns a certain and very limited portion of the passage and of the valuations presented in it to Kirk. untouched with sympathy or that note of radical fire that.46 ). the postcoital scene involving Howard and Flora in which what they say and what articles of clothing they don are accorded equal status (181.182 ) and in the scene in the university cafeteria in which eight speakers carry on a bewildering number of sometimes independent. collapsing and softening from its own inner entropy. a culling of obvious quotations surrounded by obvious comments. an old scheme of words. ready to fall. and the rapid ninety minute electric train service up to London. dogged stuff. Bradbury explains that he uses the present tense throughout the novel in order to suggest "moral displacement" ( 45 . the macrobiotic food store. Clearly. conversations (146____________________ 4 In his interview with Haffenden. The subject here is an essay Carmody has written for Kirk: It is dull. -78By taking the passage out of the larger narrative context. 4 The reader of The History Man is -. it moves towards its inevitable fate. . this pretense of narrative objectivity serves to reflect as well as to lament the loss of historical detachment and moral responsibility in the world according to Kirk ( Dog Jan. the high-rise council flats. The paper is like an overripe plum.awash in the immediacy of the present moment. This narrative strategy is evident in. in short. slightly longer example from the novel will better illustrate the way in which Bradbury (like Kirk to a certain disconcerting degree) manipulates the narrative distance and therefore the reader's relationship to and acceptance of the views that are presented. we will be in a better position to see the way in which the narrative voice only seems to detach itself from Kirk's point of view and frame of reference. in Howard's eyes. an aesthetic mistake.. for The History Man is not a realistic novel but a parody of and a challenge to "innocent realism" ( Lodge's phrase). self-serving. for many of the novel's characters are -. 1979: 41 ). It is the epitome of false consciousness.

a ranging quest of the troubled contemporary imagination to find a style that faces our kind of world" ( The Modern American Novel 184 .151 ). 5 In these major works of literary superrealism. in the arbitrary. The History Man is Bradbury's most up-to-date. instead they are grouped together in long paragraphs in which individual speakers are engulfed by the larger context. reality and conventional realism are engulfed and supplanted by the style of contemporary reality. reminds us that 'postmodernism' is a more than American phenomenon. especially as it is perceived by the novelist aware of his limited options in the wake of the collapse of the liberal novel. In it he mocks and replenishes at the same time. but an implicitly totalitarian or illiberal. A novelist at the crossroads. According to the publisher's blurb on the front cover of the Penguin paperback edition. bleak. what Bradbury records are never conversations as such. and most richly ambiguous novel. he takes delight in his verbal inventiveness but also suggests his own degree of sadness and dismay over ____________________ 5 Bradbury's description of Abish's novel is appropriate here: "Another formally very exacting return to the subject of Germany.185 ). neither of which appears particularly inviting. detached. The History Man is "the classic sixties campus novel which gleefully skewers radical . works that will perforce have no importance. published five years later. He chooses neither nostalgic liberal realism nor totalitarian postmodernism. Possibilities 205 ). where the writer's task is to unlock the hidden code and penetrate the chaos inside. "in the cityscapes of Antonini. Instead of the fullness we have come to expect of realistic fiction. often verbally violated" ( Bradbury's summary. the lines of dialogue are not recorded individually. And the other is to abandon liberalism and embrace art so as to produce "an energetic. Walter Abish's How German Is It. His work. On the one hand he tends to foreground his speakers by obsessively adding the "he/she says" tag to every spoken line. And precisely the same holds true for The History Man as well as for the novel it most resembles in style and substance. Bradbury provides a sharply angled prose that serves both to reflect and to criticize the contemporary mass culture. the contemporary writer seems to have but two choices. Moreover. most parodic. where crisis relations between history and form persist. we can see a tone that is ours" ( "Putting" 208 ). On the other hand. One is to continue to produce works of liberal realism. but merely one-sentence exchanges. and bearing strong stylistic resemblances to that of Italo Calvino or Peter Handke. -80the contemporary human comedy. in which the individual agent is dwarfed. "In the hardened acryllic realism of Hockney." Bradbury has written. Bradbury resists the extremes. The characters seem not so much to be talking as playing a form of verbal Ping-Pong. More interesting is the way in which Bradbury handles dialogue. diminished. in its flat modern materialism a world of signs without meanings under which dark meanings hide. contingent psychology of Handke. Neither a novel of wistful regret nor an example of dehumanized art. fiction. The History Man is a novel about dehumanization. aesthetic and moral. As Bernard Bergonzi has pointed out in The Situation of the Novel.

either (as was briefly noted before) a spinner of old-fashioned tales involving causally related plots (as Flora claims) or ( Bergonzi's alternative) the postmodernist maker of aesthetically totalitarian fictions. And what Bradbury finds especially fascinating is the way in which the painting "both qualifies and insists on the figure. and if it is a head whether the head is to be seen as emerging from the sand or being engulfed by it. the Goya painting that Bradbury chose to appear on the dust jacket of the 1975 Secker & Warburg edition provides a less unintentionally ironic gloss on the novel's style and substance. Kirk as impresario -82manipulates mimetically real people as if they were fictions.studies in pain" that are collectively known as Goya's "Black Paintings" -black because of their grim subject matter as well as their narrow range of dark colors. "A Dog Engulfed by Sand. is one of those "grotesque surrealistic. Bradbury depicts this world with chilling though often comic accuracy. significant differences between the two. but at the same time he resists it. Bradbury has noted.." Of course. for. In the History Man. is "a novel of hardened form. and if there is -81whether it is a head." as the painting eventually came to be called. the novel is considerably less gleeful than it may at first glance appear. Unlike the Penguin blurb. They provide grist for the mill of what Kirk contends is History but that the reader suspects is nothing more than . but they are positioned as objects. Captain of the Starship (Sociological) Enterprise. vessels of being with cash value" ( Modern American Novel 33 ). indeed objets d'art. The characters may live as consciousnesses. What has particularly attracted Bradbury to this one particular work in the series is its ambiguity. There are. the novel is a "classic" only if one accepts the very obsession with the present that the novel criticizes.. at the heart of modern existence and all modern art ( "Putting"205). of aestheticism grown ironic. the situation has become still more extreme and the aestheticism more pronounced. the novel's most fully "rounded" character is the very Kirk. The characters no longer exist as objects. who remains blind to the tension that animates both Goya's painting and Bradbury's novel. as I noted earlier. He is also a novelist of sorts. as Bradbury rightly insists. and given the time between original hardback ( 1975) and Penguin paperback ( 1985) publications. Not only is he the novel's only "rounded" character. Just as Bradbury has dubbed John Fowles "the novelist as impresario. however. There is a special irony at work here." The painting captures so perfectly the tension between realism and abstraction that lies." he has his narrator describe Kirk as an "impresario" of the various "happenings" he stages and directs. the fact that it is impossible for the viewer to know whether there is indeed a figure being posed at all. He insists (as Goya did) on the living figure.chic. One is that whereas Fowles (like Bradbury) manipulates his fictive characters as if they were real people. perceiving and presenting in narrative form not just the contemporary malaise but "the pain in the strangled victim" ( Putting208). Henry James's The Golden Bowl. but only as vague abstractions within the larger abstraction of History.

has put her arm through and down. The second and perhaps more important difference is that whereas the novelist as impresario self-reflexively calls attention to his fictions as fictions. "'I rather wish he was. as always at the Kirks' parties. His explanation as to why he had sexual relations with his student. neither hears the noise of a window breaking: "The cause is Barbara who. -83wooing and bedding of Annie Callendar. more especially. and all the people are fully occupied" (230). Foremost among these plots (or so Kirk would have her believe 6 ) is the ____________________ 6 It is impossible for the reader to determine whether Kirk is indeed as much in control as he would like Annie Callendar to believe or whether he is turning contingent events into Kirkian necessity in much the same way he usurps (of course without attribution) the language of others as his own. the ways he furthers the process by which the individual figure is lost to abstraction. echoes (with appropriate change of pronoun) Flora's earlier explanation as to why Beamish slashed his arm: "She was crying out for attention" (208). illustration of the closure that -Howard's rhetoric notwithstanding -. Barbara's accident is not so much a variation on the earlier one involving Henry Beamish as it is a repetition. Kirk's plot to have Carmody expelled from the university illustrates this point rather well. for being like a happening. savagely slicing it on the glass. He remains unaware of. and blackly humorous." By invoking "the plot of history.Kirk's own excuse for imposing his egocentric fictions on others. and as such. Annie and Kirk come to exist entirely within Kirk's fiction. she replies. Terming Carmody "a juvenile fascist" (142). Kirk transforms himself into a "martyr of Carmodian persecution" ( 128 ) by a sleight of wits that elevates Kirk and trivializes that real-life example of the process of abstraction carried out on a mass scale. When Kirk tells Annie not to worry because Carmody is no longer around to spy on them.. in the course of the novel. but the means by which he achieves these and other ends is less historically inevitable than narratively contrived. the whilom humanist who. the ways in which fact and fiction affect one another and. Lacking the necessary sense of critical (and moral) detachment that she ascribes to Carmody. or at least unconcerned about. happening.. for example. the Nazi extermination of Jews and other "enemies of the Reich." which he calls "inevitable" ( 230 ).betrays the baselessness of his version of liberation sociology. Getting rid of Carmody enables Kirk to become the focus of student attention and to rise to new heights of radical fame. The critical eye'"(229). which are famous for their happenings. As a result. Felicity Phee. there is a lot that is. Seducing Annie entails eliminating Carmody. even though the purpose of these plots is to serve Kirk's own egotistical ends. . Kirk does not. it serves as the most dramatic. Kirk effectively excuses himself from complicity in and responsibility for the plots he himself has set in motion. has transmogrified into a Kirk-like social scientist observing and making public Kirk's sexual activities. indeed. bright in her silvery dress. In fact no one hears.

" "Did he know a lot? Did he know everything?" On the evidence of The History Man (but. Glas begins with a question -. a lexical landscape that. not the history man). "a technical tour de force as well as a quietly devastating piece of social commentary. it is a subtly ironic commentary on Kirk's illiberalism in a novel in which the characters are not condemned to one hundred years of solitude but are "sentenced to history.The ending of The History Man does not form. using the latter to deconstruct the former. which Kirk espouses. d'un Hegel?" -. "a kind of existential question mark" ( 42 ). ici." In its own quieter. "what I hope that people will do when they put down a book of mine is actually to seek the cause of the dehumanization I'm representing. maintenant.which are very much in the books as presences but not as solutions -. like the American works discussed by Tanner and by Richard Poirier in A World Elsewhere. In Glas Derrida juxtaposes (typographically as well as philosophically) Hegel and Jean Genet. like The History ." It is a work in which the liberal and the postmodern are juxtaposed in an effort to answer the question upon which Bradbury has based all of his work: "whether there is an individualism that can be reconstituted" ( Interview with Bigsby 75 ). and less opaque manner. maintenant."quoi du reste aujourd'hui. the answer is clearly no. The History Man does not provide a definitive answer.'" says a character in Bradbury's fourth novel. without quite denying its validity. le debris de. pour nous. presumably as unwittingly as the book's author does quite self-consciously. as Michael Church has noted. then. What it does provide is a dialogical "loophole. as Todd has claimed. again. rather. City of Words. In Rates of Exchange Bradbury accomplishes precisely such a construction: a purely verbal architecture. has its basis in something deeper than its own linguistic surface. The History Man forms a similar circle and reaches a similar goal. less aggressive. and that therefore the elements of humanism -. neatly undermining the authority of abstract Hegelian history. as it is as well in Derrida's -84Glas. The History Man is." "Who's Hegel?" asks the novel's epigraph. published one year earlier." As Bradbury has said.will matter" ( Interview with Haffenden43-44). -85 5 Rates of Exchange: The Liberal Novelist's Quarrel with the French Algebraists "'YOU CANNOT BUILD a city with words only.and ends with this problematically openended answer or fragment -"Aujourd'hui. ici. to Tony Tanner's highly influential study of the postwar American novel. It is. Rates of Exchange ( 174 ). He alludes. borrowed from Gunther Grass: "Someone who sentenced mankind to history.

but it is a plagiarism so obvious as to more nearly constitute -86what Raymond Federman (borrowing from Jacques Ehrmann) calls playgiarism. self-consciously obligatory bow to Kingsley Amis. Rates of Exchange is very obviously indebted to recent American fictions by John Updike and Saul Bellow that have also dealt with western observers in eastern Europe: Bech: A Book ( 1970) and The Dean's December ( 1982). which includes borrowed characters. as well as being a novel of deception. Petworth of Rates of Exchange is twice confused. The novel's "implied author" makes a guest appearance of his own. Thus does Bradbury's parodically structuralist novel proceed. as well as the postmodern parodies of this subgenre written by Thomas Pynchon. sounding a good deal more self-confident than the reclusive novelist who appears so briefly and so ineffectually in The History Man.. the voice of one of eastern Europe's best known exports to western pop culture. Petworth with whom the Dr.. There is even a last minute. motif in the same author's first novel . the extent of Bradbury's borrowings from Updike and Bellow serves to foreground them in a novel that is both linguistically and literarily rich. as Lodge has pointed out. the spy novels of Deighton. usually far less self-consciously composed. often disparagingly. from Baudelaire and Melville to Heller and Federman. a deceptive novel. Pynchon "takes the commonplace analogy between rocket and phallus and pursues its ramifications relentlessly and grotesquely through the novel's enormous length. He is the Dr. . Zsa Zsa Gabor. the absence of any copies of The History Man from the bookstalls at Heathrow airport ensures its presence in Rates of Exchange. one of the most important is the manner in which Pynchon develops his narrative by -87exploiting some one dominant metaphor. plots. The latter Petworth comes to take the former's place along the novel's diachronic plane of action as the result of a metaphoric substitution (an "exchange") from among the choices available along the novel's synchronic axis. and themes. Rates of Exchange is filled with literary echoes. pipe in mouth and tongue in cheek. Not the least of its deceptions is the way in which the novel not only builds a city of words but often borrows its materials from other. This indebtedness. LeCarre. cities of lex. Bradbury's third novel appears in his fourth as well. Rates of Exchange is in fact filled with such echoes and allusions: linguistic and literary theories (including structuralism of course). Of the various ways in which Pynchon's fiction influenced the writing of Rates of Exchange. Rates of Exchange is a quieter and less aggressive. In Gravity's Rainbow. commented on Bradbury's indebtedness to the author of Lucky Jim. fairy tales. In fact. Like John Gardner's The King's Indian (with which it was on at least one occasion reviewed). or rather a nod in the direction of those reviewers who have. as we shall shortly see. In effect. and others. a writer Bradbury especially admires. One of Howard Kirk's colleagues from the earlier book makes his way into the later novel in similar fashion.Man. borders at times on plagiarism. while the V.mocks interpretation by the plurality of its manifestations" ( Modes235-236).

narrative." concerning Dupin's "quarrel. of course. Rates of Exchange is. Moreover. cultural.or exploitation -of the dominant metaphor that gives the book its title. At the same ." Amis's judgment neatly misses the novel's point. to quote Bradbury quoting Barthes in one of the novel's four epigraphs." is a flawless sendup of deconstructionist practice." Bradbury. diplomatic. or rather the novel's "implied author."this is a book. for Rates is only as uneconomical as the long chapter on "Economy" with which Thoreau begins his exploration of the rate of exchange between the material and the transcendental in midnineteenth century America in Walden. sexual. this book is a paper fiction. There is the literal exchange of currencies as well as the figurative exchanges of various kinds -. Bradbury considers narratively what the rate of exchange metaphor both denotes and connotes. once upon a time.rather than in its ostensible content.. " the structuralists and poststructuralists like to say (and as the novel echoes) -. offered for exchange. 1 Skeptical as he is of deconstruction.economic. But in the phrasing of this sentence -. in effect.a tactic designed. Indeed." one hears an echo of the realist writer's formulaic disclaimer of any correspondence between fact and fiction -. Bradbury's second narrative attempt to give fiction its due in a world made hostage to dehumanizing abstractions of various kinds. Bradbury has become increasingly interested in language and preoccupied with the linguistic surface of his novels. As The History Man and Rates of Exchange clearly attest. linguistic. the "novel proper" will rather strongly suggest that the author of Rates of Exchange has his own quarrel with the French algebraists. for as the "Author's Note" goes on to explain. from Poe's "The Purloined Letter."everything is a language" and. "like money. but as with similar works in the collection it evidences what Bradbury has called his "love-hate" relation with the subjects he parodies. only a language. Bradbury evidences his interest in the rate of exchange between theory and fiction." along. Adopting Pynchon's mode and adapting it to his Anglo-liberal purposes. a quarrel of a special kind. to forestall possible libel actions. and -." complicates matters even further (even before the first words of the "novel proper" have been read) insofar as Barthes is read as a contemporary "French algebraist. exploration -. The world he depicts is one in which the forward thrust of the novel's storyline versus the disarming simplicity of the novel's densely woven verbal texture -. -88In the opening sentence of the novel's prefatory "Author's Note. as in The History Man.though no less relentless. abstract history and the literary imagination. and what it says is not true" -.with some of the algebraists of Paris." The second of the epigraphs. as well he might. the reader also hears a note of self-deprecating postmodern irony. The best of the parodies included in Who Do You Think You Are?. Martin Amis found Rates of Exchange wanting and "uneconomical -prohibitively so." seems to agree with Roland Barthes who. therefore. Comparing the novel to the works by Bellow and Updike mentioned earlier.. Bradbury appears to be equally skeptical of a naive affirmation of the liberal assumptions upon which he once based his narrative art. with Derrida. including the language of novelistic discourse which has lost (or perhaps mistakenly relinquished) its once-privileged place. has defined narrative as "legal tender.

____________________ 1 "Mensonge" appears in the paperback edition of Who Do You Think You Are? published by Arena in 1984 but not in the original Secker & Warburg edition ( 1976) or the new Arena edition ( 1987). -89time, he objects to the tendency on the part of many contemporary critics, including Barthes in Writing Degree Zero and "The Death of the Author," "to deny to writers an appropriate freedom of will and invention, and to explain writing according to large-scale systems of causality." He objects as well to "the tendency in a good deal of recent criticism to stress not the separate internal energy of literary language but its relation to all language, to explore not the conscious control of the artist but the substrata of literary language.... For [as Bradbury goes on to explain] it is precisely with the conscious, created, persuasive features of making and shaping that give it its essential existence and essential independence, that the test of an adequately literary criticism lies" ( State 36 , 37 ). However, although he claims that "there is no gainsaying the personal source of a book," he nonetheless does acknowledge that the individual author's "signature can be a very curious and angled thing" ( Interview with Haffenden 43 ). In attending so closely to his novelistic language, deliberately and painstakingly foregrounding it in The History Man and Rates of Exchange, Bradbury manages a double feat. On the one hand, he takes account in typically postmodernist fashion of the reality of language, of its existence as a determinant of reality rather than a transparent means to a higher end. On the other hand, he continues to explore the possibilities of the liberal novel in and for a postliberal age by insisting on the individual novelist's mastery of, rather than surrender to, his medium. He insists as well that while " a very important part of contemporary writing," the "moral function of literature" involves a two-part process: "to estrange, but then to reacquaint" ( Interview with Bigsby32). Early in the novel the protagonist, a linguist, is asked if he still follows Chomsky's transformational grammer or if he has converted to structuralism. "In his own mind, he knows whether the mind is, or is not, a tabula rasa before language enters it, though he will not be divulging his answer [to this "crucial question"] directly in this book" ( 33 ). -90It is not just the character who does not divulge his answer, but the author as well. Bradbury seems to have been as fascinated by language (and theories of language) in the writing of this novel as he was with Goya's painting in the composition of The History Man. He appears to have discovered in language theory yet another illustration of the modern drift towards dehumanization and, at the same time, the means by which what remains of the liberal self may continue to resist being swamped by the historical tide. As in The History Man, Bradbury successfully resists the drift towards abstraction and dehumanization by paradoxically appearing to give in to it, substituting for "plot" the idea of plot and for "style" the idea of style. Each novel masters, as well as mirrors, what Bradbury has elsewhere termed the "extraordinary profusion" of the present "polyglot"

age ( Foreword xii ) in which moral depth has been supplanted by -- or exchanged for -stylistic surface. Style -- the word as well as the literary quality it denotes -- appears everywhere in Rates of Exchange, even when it is absent, as in the case of the novel's "styleless" protagonist. Katya Princip, Bradbury's version of Updike's (and Bech's) Bulgarian Poetess, is, on the other hand, a very stylish dresser and, moreover, possesses a very distinctive literary style, that of magic realism. London appears to Petworth as "a fancy fiction, a disorderly parade of styles" ( Rates of Exchange21), whereas Slaka, the eastern European city he visits, is just the opposite: social realism on an urban scale, a visual monologue. "Yet," as Bradbury's narrator notes at one point, adopting a structuralist axiom, "inside likeness there is difference" ( 26 ). And inside each of the novel's many simple oppositions -- East and West, capitalist and communist, male and female, and so forth -- there exists a dialogic complexity that manages to ambiguously suggest both the essential ineffableness of the liberal self upon which Bradbury insists and that spectre of multiplicity gone amok that Henry Adams believed had already overwhelmed (and eventually would ex-91tinguish) not only the individual but all mankind. (Significantly enough, it is with a lengthy discussion of The Education ofHenry Adams that Bradbury begins his study of The Modern American Novel, written concurrently with Rates of Exchange and published one year before.) As with The History Man, there exists a significant discrepancy between what many reviewers believed was the uniformity of the novel's style and the fact that this uniformity is, like virtually everything else in this seemingly simple novel, a deception. As in The History Man, the seeming uniformity masks parodic multiplicity. Accounting for the apparent uniformity is fairly easy to do. A good deal of the novel, especially in the opening pages, comically parodies the English as a Second Language (ESL) prose found in all of those eastern European guidebooks, customs forms, airline regulations, etc., written for the English-speaking tourist, which is precisely what the novel's "implied reader" often becomes, guidebook and map in hand. To this form of ESL-speak, Bradbury adds a lilting rhythm that serves to further distance the prose from Standard English, and that is especially obvious in the novel's opening sentence: "If you should ever happen to make the trip to Slaka, that fine flower of middle European cities, capital of commerce and art, wide streets and gipsy music, then, whatever else you plan to do there, do not, as the travel texts say, neglect to visit the Cathedral of Saint Valdopin: a little outside the town, at the end of the tramway route, near to the power station, down by the slow, marshy, mosquito-breeding waters of the great River Niyt." 2 Going well beyond the conventions of "indirect discourse," the seemingly seamless, ceaselessly parodic narrative voice incorporates into itself ____________________ 2 Bradbury uses a similar but certainly less pervasive lilting style in a number of earlier works, particularly "A Goodbye for Evadne Winterbottom" (collected in Who Do You Think You Are?) and in The History Man.

-92pieces drawn from various linguistic environments. The ESL solecisms that are predictable enough in the dialogue of Slakan speakers also frequently enter the authorial narrator's supposedly neutral narration in a comically disconcerting way, as in his description of Slaka as "a place of dangers and treacheries, courages and cowardices" and in his offhand reference to "our patriotic workers" ( 18 ). In similar fashion, the narrative voice often echoes Petworth's professional vocabulary and his linguist's frame of reference. It adopts (as well as adapts) everything from "grammar," "noun," and "sentence" to Derrida's terms "presence" and "absence." The novel is filled not only with ESL-speak and guidebook prose but small talk, "lecture talk," body language, and, in orthography as well as typography, a form of computer speech (thus the chapter titles: "1/ ARR.," "2/RECEP.," "3/ACCOM.," etc.). In addition to emphasizing the multiplicity of languages, Rates of Exchange emphasizes the ambiguity of language, as comically rendered in a host of Slakan mispronunciations and Petworthian misunderstandings: e.g., "no smirking" for "no smoking" and "are you thirsty?" for "are you turstii [i.e., a tourist]?" ( 30 , 60 ). In a similarly broad comic vein are the stutterings of the British Embassy representative, Steadiman, whose unsteady speech results in one-liners such as, " if you need a bit of ass, a bit of assistance call me, any time'" (182). Such lines tease the reader; they invite him or her to jump to understandable but nonetheless incorrect interpretive conclusions (including a reading of the entire novel as being similarly obvious and superficial: a mere joke). Bradbury exploits the potential ambiguity of language for comic effects but at the same time he provides an object lesson on the ways in which we seek to make sense of what we hear and read. In the case of Steadiman's stuttering, comic surprise is always followed by a clarification of the intended meaning: "a bit of ass" becomes "a bit of assistance." Elsewhere, however, the novel insists upon the ambiguity of its own language and of language in general. -93In his attempt to provide a brief but authoritative history of Slaka, for example, Bradbury's suddenly Borgesian narrator makes the following prefatory comment: "A certain reputable encyclopedia, consulted in an old edition, authoritatively observes (if I have read it accurately, and if my hastily scribbled notes, gathered amid the distractions of the great round Reading Room of the British Museum, where white-eyed Italian girls shout hotly for company around tea-time, tempting serious scholars, of whom I am not one anyway, into folly, are correctly transcribed) ..." (2). The parenthetical aside qualifies and deflects from the point the narrator ostensibly wishes to make; in this way it undermines the very authority of the imaginary source it sets out so confidently to establish. Not only does the aside allude to several of Borges's best known stories; it also defines and enacts the narrative garden-offorking-paths quality that characterizes Borges' ficciones and Bradbury's novel. "In Slaka history is a mystery, and it is not surprising that the nation's past has been very variously recorded and the facts much disputed, for everyone has a story to tell. Perplexities abound, accounts contradict, and accurate details

Such linguistic and narratives 3 disturbances plunge the reader into the poststructuralist pit.are wanting" ( 2 ). level than that of mere verbal play.19 ). even duplicitous. simple narrative movement.. as the reader learns when this part of the narrative is resumed some fourteen pages later). In just four pages ( 16 . And so in this indirect. the imaginary patron saint of the imaginary and anonymous country of which Slaka is the capital. Bradbury seems to posit the existence of a resistant reality that lies beyond the novel's various and arbitrary sign systems." he demonstrates an obvious awareness of and interest in critical theory. even though (I) Petworth's plane has already landed and ( 2 ) Petworth's actual flight will not be described for nine more pages. schooled by Steadiman's stutterings. ("Elusive" is a word that appears frequently throughout Rates of Exchange. But the humor here is not only not as heavyhanded as in Steadiman's case. the very statement of this preference disturbs the creation of that "vivid and -94continuous dream" (to borrow John Gardner's phrase) to which Bradbury's narrator claims to aspire. not a critic. In fact.. somewhat later in this narrative. one needs to go further. for example. When Katya Princip tells Petworth she wants to take him somewhere and asks. Like the interpolated story of Saint Valdopin. as brilliant. including language. then to a paragraph in which the plane comes to a halt and Petworth rises from his seat (prematurely. " 'Do you want it?'" ( 195 ) the reader.. However. Katya's question affirms the reality of those human emotions and relationships that lie beneath the novel's dense and delightful linguistic surface. magical realist novelist Katya Princip.remain fiction" ( 9 ). batik-clad.) Although the narrative "I" claims that he is "a writer. who orders a different breakfast each morning only to be served the same one. way. The novel demands to be read in light of this awareness of critical pluralism that undermines the authority of any one interpretive mode that would impose closure on so "elusive" a text.a flashback that itself begins with a flashforward (in Genette's terms. beginning with Petworth's arrival in Slaka and ending with his return to London. The same may be said of Rates of Exchange. And although he claims to prefer that his "fictions. detects the sexual double entendre. will remark. upon which his characters must necessarily rely. like Petworth.. then to descriptions of Slaka culled from guidebooks. the novel "can be read in many fashions" ( 7 ).. the narrative switches first to a view of Slaka from the air. it also hints at some deeper. Bradbury frequently and quite selfconsciously disturbs this. Rates of Exchange circles back to the Bellow ____________________ 3 Although the overall structure of Rates of Exchange is one of linear progression. only then does the reader learn why Petworth has come to be where he is -. an analepsis which begins with a prolepsis): "Indeed. more human. Even as it points to a plurality of possible meanings." -95- .

For Bradbury. he makes a toast" ' to language. it is the "pretext" of their meeting and of Bradbury's novel. Rates of Exchange is ultimately quite close in spirit to The Dean's December and Bech: A Book. postrealist age. and bring us closer together' "( 125 ). Bradbury crosses from one literary medium to another and renders the entire scene as a kind of silent film comedy. who dislikes planned itineraries but passively accepts them. mentioned earlier. "styleless" man is often confused with that other Petworth. Perworthi. Under the influence of "the strange dulling grammar of airports. this thin. More than five thousand words go by before the reader is introduced to "Dr." who is "white and male. Petworth whose photograph she has been given. Geographically and physically language has indeed brought all the people at the table closer together. who visits foreign lands only to sit in his hotel room and revise his lectures. the protagonist of Bradbury's fourth novel has. 'like the steak' (160). It certainly does not help that. including verbal style. Petworth." the author of Rates of Exchange makes a convincing case "that certain things can be held logically and temporarily antecedent to those words. But in a novel and in a world in which words both "explain and estrange." a TEFL specialist and frequent "cultural traveller" for the British Council ( 14 ). goes through a host of transformations in the mouths of eastern European guides.. During the course of the novel the name Petworth. Pervert. There is the puce and magenta British Council tag. Insignificant himself. Petworth seems to well deserve his fate. of course. a tenuous hold on his own identity. His situation is. et al∴ Petwurt. Like Treece and Walker. the University of Watermouth sociologist mentioned in The History Man. since there is no British Council in Slaka. becomes a "sterile sign. At a dinner given in his honor. bourgeois and British. As such. more an object.. Having so little identity himself. at best. for example." Petworth becomes less a subject. the fate of language and the fate of character are inextricably linked in a dehumanized age. and Patwat. forty and married. less the doer than the one to whom things are done (302). comic. he speaks so blandly and in such an old-fashioned manner. (Exploiting the language difficulty. particularly the three hours he spends waiting in the Slakan airport while his guide looks in vain for the other Dr. which is Angus. The words that bring us all here. officials. And another fifty thousand words go by before the reader learns Petworth's first name. which.) A traveller who hates to travel. has supplanted human substance. hotel clerks. his inconsequentiality and insignificance. that it parodies and plunders.. Pumwum. though quite different in texture. a meaningless meaning" ( 54 )." Petworth's toast must strike the reader as hopelessly naive . It should. that all things in fiction are mediated through words. like that of Joyce's Bloom and Earwicker or Pynchon's V. Accepting "the fundamenal recognition of modern criticism.and Updike books. like Treece and Walker. for example. the Petworth of Rates of Exchange must rely -96on outward manifestations to establish his own minimal self. Petwit. hardly come as a surprise that in Rates of Exchange he should place such stress on language and linguistic surface and at the same time further explore the attenuation of character in the modern world where style. it serves as oblique but nonetheless convincing proof of the viability of Bradbury's renegotiated liberal-realist aesthetic in the postliberal. therefore. as a matter which the words mediate" ( Posibilities283 ).

his wrist may hurt. and he knows his words and his existence are up. Petworth. certainly not a character in the world historical sense. ( 193 -194) At the end of one of Twain's "Mysterious Stranger" manuscripts. it does not matter. But. to fall in love with lady writers. in his hour of words. made his way to this point. with stock theme and minor variations" ( 53 ). simply in order to answer toasts.and as beside the point as Petworth's lectures on "the Uvular R" and on the difference between "I don't have" and "I haven't got. he has come to perform utterance. The business of a lecturer is. though he may be before an audience that has come to hear another lecture. from another lecturer. According to the narrator. and end. a direction incorporating due beginning. poor. Petworth has a story to tell. the lecturer's tale. his heart may be troubled. but he has a story to tell. instead. Little Satan explains to Theodore that what men claim to be reality is in fact a dream. Even as he savages his protagonist. but he does step nonetheless. and now he is telling it. brought his briefcase. found other skies and other birds. and. sitting down. A bell rings in the corridor. the lecture that momentarily defines him and gives him his being. The author's advice to Petworth seems to form a postmodern equivalent: to tell other stories. his spirit be energyless. and better. a page and then a plot. to know desire or despair. and better. exists. And telling it. to visit -97tombs. food set before him on plates. in the great auditorium. then he advises his young friend to dream other dreams. he becomes that text. let alone the will to become. middle. Petworth's is "a version of the old and familiar story. it is a device used to defamiliarize Petworth's "familiar story" in order to revitalize both the liberal novel and the idea of charac-98ter at a time when both are (at best) suspect. to worry about domestic disorders. this is why lecturers exist. to catch himself in the thorny thickets of sexual confusion. a sentence that grows into a paragraph and then a page. of course. for this moment. clearly disingenuous. lacking the will to be. divided attachments. split loyalties. the novel Rates of Exchange. 57 ) is. Petworth steps eastward rather than (like James Walker) westward." Bradbury's attitude towards Petworth is nonetheless complex. a verb without a noun. His text before him. Petworth has not come this far. he becomes himself an order. hotel rooms been booked. His head may ache with peach brandy. This description of Petworth's "simple story" of "everyday life" ( 56 . this is why he has left his house. He may be a speech without a subject. crossed two time-zones. home and country. It is not a description at all. to lecture. He wants something more than . Bradbury seems intent on salvaging him as well. This is why planes have flown to bring him here. but the reader also has Bradbury's story of him. while Mrs Goko utters a few last sentences of translation. his split lip blur his talk a little. however. Petworth knows that he has been.

as well as his "dark wife Lottie. but for Katya. As his official guide.. anti aesthetically. " 'You have some wishes you cannot make real at home. Their lives too are "empty" and "meaningless. Each serves as Petworth's guide. Bellow establishes a number of thematically." who meets Petworth at the Restaurant Propp and later takes him to the Cafe Grimm. journalism and science. the plot of his days. and each wants him to learn the lesson she tries to teach. " 'reality is what happens if you listen to other people's stories and not to your own. As Katya Princip explains. For Marisja.'" she claims. it is to make importance of it'" ( 219 ). and the prison comes in your mind. The stories become a country. and in which language determines the speaker. and that is how comes reality'" (204). which can no longer be assumed to be a transparent medium that brings us all closer together. Each. In effect. once upon a time. he transforms his tale of two cities into a postmodernist text of two-plus plots. Her phrasing suggests the limits of her English language skills. West and East. but it is no less real. Katya rejects both the State and "reality" (as well as realism) as "bad" fictions which imprison the self. to exist means to possess a passport. significant oppositions: Chicago and Bucharest. capitalist and communist.the safe domesticated life that has left him. It is Marisja who hands Petworth his itinerary. the country becomes a prison. in her own way. Petworth moves from the domestic to the fantastic. was assumed to mediate. In The Dean's December. politically. Katya understands that all people feel about their existences as Petworth does about his. It is as real as Bradbury's desire to pass through selfapparent language. "'The problem. represents just the reverse. so you go somewhere and hope they will happen' " ( 82 ). Bradbury creates a number of similar oppositions but adds to them a Pynchonesque twist. Soon it is the only story. and who tries her best to have him follow it. Against them she posits her own postmodern fables which liberate her from the narrowness of the totalitarian state and (to borrow Mas'ud Zavarzadeh's term) of the totalizing novels which attempt to explain the world in univocal terms to the passive reader.. and so forth. to some realm that language. acts as a Bellowian -99reality instructor even though the realities in which they try to instruct Petworth are in fact quite different. His "I want" may not be as clamorous as Eugene Henderson's. not the other way around. from realism to fable. " 'is not to exist at all. And everywhere more of the same story. batik-clad magical realist novelist Katya Princip. They will not happen with Marisja. Marisja Lubijova." outwardly secure and inwardly dissatisfied. as well as structurally. For his own twice-told tale of two cities.." and so to overcome their guilt and to fill the void they accept the readymade fictions of the State and of History. to exist is not enough. "The brilliant. Marisja wants Petworth to be cautious and . however. physically. Stepping eastward. who for most of the novel embodies in her actions and her language the aesthetic of social realism. but it implies as well Bradbury's preoccupation with how "the human" is to be defined in a dehumanized age in which abstract history matters but the individual person does not. explains to him. each having its own literary as well as sociopsychological significance. terra firma and space.

"'all life is an exchange'" (21 2 ). lighter-than-air quality of "Katya Princip" but serves to link her as well to the Petworth who stands in his "flat earth shoes." firmly rooted to reality. despite her words concerning the need to create one's own -101reality. however. It effectively transforms the ethereal Katya Princip into a version of the clearly earthbound Marisja Lubijova. that deceptive novelist.) If Katya takes an interest in Petworth. Petworth's all too quotidian life becomes an adult fairy tale in which he is raised (much as Annie Callendar is by Kirk) to the level of main plot. another matter. or so goes Marisja's reading of her. The narrator's words thus constitute a distillation of the reader's necessarily ambivalent response to her. Marisja undergoes a similar transformation. Like the stroke of midnight in "Cinderella. who manufacture plots and manipulate others in order to achieve their own self-serving ends. as Katya admits. "that deceptive novelist. Katya on the other hand wants him to take risks and to possess ' "a will'" and "'a desire'" ( 213 . one that takes her in precisely the opposite direction." he produces a more ambiguous result. Other factors contribute to the reader's uncertainty. Whether Petworth and the Petworthian reader can or should trust the batik-clad magic realist novelist is. However. but nonetheless. Katya may speak of taking risks. "but it is as Katya Princip. The narrator's words. and sexually appealing. or it may suggest an evasiveness that has less to do with free expression than with personal gain. (And perhaps her tracks as well: Petworth's unofficial guide "looks like a very elegant shepherd" [ 121 ] but may be a predatory wolf in a sheepskin coat. According to Marisja. she is always sure to cover her bets. whose heavy-sounding name not only contrasts with the crisp. If the latter is true. With Katya. then she must have some ulterior purpose. By quoting her. Her deceptiveness may be a necessary strategy given the general intolerance on the part of Communist governments to uncensored literary works. whatever she is." the ringing of the phone summons the characters back to the real world. The reader can neither accept Marisja's reading nor reject accept. politically. Interestingly. Katya. Froelich and Kirk." proves remarkably attentive to the historical/political facts of life: the ringing of the telephone brings their brief and utterly fantastic interlude to an abrupt end. By calling her "deceptive." at once invite the -100reader to believe Katya and yet be skeptical about her (271). After . He cannot say for sure that the reason Katya finds Petworth attractive is that he is "'not a character in the world historical sense'" and therefore outside the political-sexual intrigues that characterize and corrupt the lives of her countrymen. Petworth remains the perfect sheep. 219). has said to him. some self-serving plot in mind. the narrator establishes her authority and encourages the reader's trust in her judgment. Katya is obviously the more aesthetically. for whom. Nor can he say for sure that Katya uses Petworth to advance her position by seducing him into playing an important but nonetheless expendable role in her affairs. Of his two guides. however. then Katya is simply a version of those Bradburyan characters.

the liberal aesthetic and the liberal self. a wish. someone who is not the words of those others? You think: can I have still a desire. their true (?) selves -. structuralist) abstraction. in Petworth's smuggling Katya's manuscript out of Slaka. Or. To read Rates of Exchange as if it were a mystery novel (as this reviewer evidently did) or to attempt to read it along conventional lines is to indulge in an understandable but nonetheless misguided desire to impose a plot on a novel that artfully and ambiguously balances narrative form and contingent event in an effort to reinvent. But." all of them pluralistically interwoven to one degree or another. after first Katya and then Marisja have revealed themselves -that is. You speak all the time. or at least renegotiate. Petworth manages to do what he had previously neglected to: he calls each by name. And now. utterances. you are here to make those the possibility of multiple meanings for individual words. more accurately. Then you wonder: is there inside me a person.or engulfed -by the novel's verbal play and deliberately overrich him (another of the novel's fairy -102tale motifs). Marisja's words reveal not a structuralist "difference. it is bad for your job. but always the words of others. the possibility of each plot -. affirms their common humanity. a feeling? But of course if you think like this. To name and thus to acknowledge the existence of Katya and Marisja may be the least startling and yet the most important result of Petworth's trip to Slaka. he acknowledges their individual existences. Within the simple narrative thread that follows Petworth's itinerary. . (273) In echoing Katya's remarks to Petworth some sixty pages earlier. Much to their delight. Such a seemingly insignificant affirmation may go entirely unremarked. and in this way saves them from being engulfed by the sands of historical (including postmodern/shy. It may itself be overwhelmed -. I am sorry.or rather." where sameness was once perceived. she confides to him those misgivings that clearly echo Katya's remarks earlier: Because if you are interpreter. as it seems to have done in the case of the reviewer who claimed to have discovered. please. and characters -serves to interrogate ironically all the others. arriving in a strange city. to let the others talk. Each plot -. the reader's desire to unlock the novel's mystery by singling out some climactic scene or event can misfire. Bradbury pursues a bewildering number of plots. so the world can go on. the exception being the novel Rates of Exchange itself. what he pursues is less a multiplicity of plots than the idea of multiple plots. but instead a shared humanity. it is jealous. and nearly becoming Petworth's lover. it is easy to grow a little afraid. You are not here for that. sometimes I do have a little feeling. He creates a structural or narrative parallel to the more obvious exploitation of semantic multiplicity to be found throughout the text. However. This common core of values and desires lies beyond all rates of exchange but one. the "hidden purpose of his visit" ( Morrison). excuse me.travelling through a dark forest. you must forget it. none of them "sub-. Petworth proves his humanity when.

As the novel progresses. but which ones isn't clear. who claims to have been responsible for Petworth's visit. A young female interpreter. and she claims that "'there is another reason why you must have it. certain coincidences suggest intrigue.. Thus. turning life into art as well as art into life? The plots of her novel and of her story about a character named Stupid either parallel or orchestrate Petworth's Slakan adventures. in Rates of Exchange.52 ).to place them (as Bakhtin would say) in quotation marks. though her comment does evoke a multitude of possible meanings. Petworth's relationships with Marisja Lubijova and Katya Princip cannot be separated from either his erotic fantasies or the advice of the British Council worker who warns Petworth of the secret police's (HOGPo's) favorite tactics for entrapping unwary foreigners. Similarly. and who "'likes to make plans'" for his "'friend'" (27 8 )? And do his plans include using Petworth as a courier? Or is it Katya herself who is in control. Yet it is Marisja who presents Petworth with a copy of Katya's newly published novel. Some must be evidence of Petworth's paranoia. the social realist plot of their approved itinerary. he is told. Marisja contends that despite the language barrier Petworth will come to understand the novel before he leaves Slaka.. putting them in doubt by undermining their authority. But neither can it be separated from Katya's new manuscript or from Professor Plitplov. Katya -. In a phone conversation. Henry James meets Thomas Pynchon insofar as the multiple plots cannot be separated from Petworth's sexual desires and psychological apprehensions. may be a cover for the "real" story going on at some deeper. or from the British government's wanting to test the political waters. I cannot tell it to you yet. but most suggest both. are clearly opposites.. But if this is true.says that she will tell Petworth the end of Stupid's story . however compassionate the story. that's another favourite'" ( 51 . And don't bring papers or documents out of the country. or from a host of other possibilities. What Petworth and the reader -104eventually see is never made clear. then who is scripting the deeper story? Is it Plitplov. the reader can never be entirely sure why Petworth has come to Slaka. the cartoonish figure who conspicuously shadows Petworth's every move. should be considered "'forbidden fruit. as well as Marisja's caricature of the eastern European guide. and the explanations of and the connections between them become more and more tenuous. physically as well as politically. for example. Marisja Lubijova and Katya Princip. who may be exploiting both Petworth and Princip. Similarly. Contrary to the reviewer's conclusion quoted above. but you will see'" (112). Nodu Hug. others mere contingency. do not hug. covert level. the -103plots proliferate. His lecture tour cannot be separated from or entirely linked to his wanting to escape momentarily from the numbingly realistic novel that his domestic life has become.or someone Petworth and the reader assume is Katya -. In other words. including having Petworth help Katya smuggle her manuscript out of the country. which translates "do not be afraid" though for an English speaker it immediately suggests a warning or command to avoid intimacy.

it is those theoretical systems -. Bradbury makes this "not knowing" his narrative subject as well as his narrative technique. using each to comment on and -106- . He does not know whether these stories started before he arrived. the narrator insists (four times in the first ten pages alone) that the reader should visit the cathedral even though it is not included on any of the official tours. in his tentative efforts to speak the native language. Petworth eats a solitary meal in the great dining-room.when they meet at the cathedral.this is his achievement. Slaka. or because he arrived" (298). in the hotel. the part the character plays in the plot.whether literary. songs of betrayal. it is not character that is important but the character's narrative function. an American graduate student tells his British colleague that although they have read all the critics and know even the most sophisticated critical approaches. in which he has some unexpected part. In his short story. His insistence makes both the cathedral and the narrator conspicuous by virtue of their absence." The "i" and the "u" as well the I and the You become pawns in a political language game. "Not. More importantly. or political -. linguistic. with alternative conclusions. where the sad singer sings again." He is himself a redundant "I' in this wholly ironical and all too real "people's republic" with its even more ironically named capital. to know -. The language reform that is briefly effected in Slaka involves changing all "i" endings to "u. Rates of Exchange implies a similar but far more exhaustive indeterminacy. Described by its author as "a comedy of gloom and bleakness" ( Introduction. parodically critical way. they still cannot be sure whether a letter written by an attractive freshman means love or blackmail or both. -105And neither does the reader. In this context it is significant that Petworth. intrudes a redundant "i. "Composition. it seems to implicate the (perhaps Plitplovian) narrator in some or all of the novel's many conspiratorial plots. strange machinations. economic. Plitplov. who remains aware that every possible explanation is not without its Bakhtinian "sideward glance" at another equally probable explanation. According to the Russian formalist Propp." which ends Fowlesfashion. instead. Stepping vii). Petworth is met by his comic double." Jay Martin has said of Henry James (312). Bradbury's target is not formalist criticism per se. finally and conclusively. songs of love. "That night. motivated as much by Bradbury's wish to preserve the liberal self and the liberal novel as it is by his attraction to postmodern fiction and the postmodern aesthetic. Throughout the novel. who tells him about the plan to smuggle the manuscript of a collection of stories that Katya has dedicated to him and in which he appears as a character. Rates of Exchange succeeds in large part because Bradbury artfully plays the comic and pessimistic elements against one another. Rates of Exchange follows Propp's formalist theory but in a self-conscious. stories perhaps of love. into mere functions. At the cathedral.that transform characters into caricatures. he sits and thinks of obscure processes. perhaps of betrayal.

like the posters that bear their images. and to that state of "self____________________ 4 Whether source or analogue. Slaka does not seem very different from any city anywhere else" (288). author. Much of this same pessimism infects the ending of his fourth novel in which on the one hand the reader sees "the men of history" go. Without a guide. "Of course. -107 nullifying passivity" from which only fiction has momentarily rescued him ( Interview with Haffenden48). mixed with stylistic Angus Wilson. without a story of his own. trust only the novelists.. everywhere. he is able to read the signs clearly and ultimately find his way back to a home rooted in a stable domestic and literary tradition from which standpoint he writes conventionally moralistic fiction. is a language']. like Burton. which Bradbury reviewed in the 29 June 1979 issue of New agony that Rates of Exchange did less to relieve than to bring into even sharper focus." To quote Jake Barnes's words to Brett at the end of The Sun Also Rises: "Yes. A pretty vain hope.or wants to affirm -.. "May we have imagination instead of politics..modify the other. For Widdowson they represent Bradbury's acceptance of bourgeois values. Peter Handke (rev. all problems resolved: they all live happily . of Slow Homecoming). it is interesting to note the line. And he affirms as well the need for fiction in such a world. he finds no possible irony in Bradbury's (or Lodge's) use of such returns. isn't it pretty to think so. Never trust them. I think" (quoted in Interview with Haffenden 27). Bradbury was asked to comment on what he wished the future to be like. to "his dark wife" Lottie. Burton posits a considerably more optimistic Bradbury: ". even in Slaka. At the end of the year in which Rates of Exchange was published." from The Stories of John Cheever." Bradbury told Ronald Hayman in April 1983 -." he said. 4 and on the other Petworth returning to England. "aspiration instead of history. and critic upon discovering that all loose ends are tied up. those deeper bankers who spend their time trying to turn pieces of printed paper into value. "I have a moral agony going on in my guts about what it is we actually are as human beings. What Bradbury stubbornly affirms -. And without a voice." Widdowson also takes special notice of the Nostos motif in Bradbury (and Lodge). Petworth too is in danger of disappearing the continuing presence of the individual self in a world that is largely committed to denying its existence. the bliss that comes to hero. but never pretend that the result is anything more than a useful fiction" (8). the ayatollahs and the economists [and the linguists who 'explain that every transaction in our culture. there are the politicians and the priests. 5 ____________________ 5 Recall that Robert S. without a "voice to tell its story. who will try to explain that reality is what they say it is. It is possible to detect in his comic despair and postmodern play some of the same movement towards romantic affirmation that Bradbury has detected in the fiction of that bleakest of contemporary Austrian writers. up and down according to which way the political winds are blowing (300). all questions answered. for Burton. "all the portraits of Krushchev had vanished.

and the less they are explained by an authoritative narrator. forms. The Picturegoers is a far less successful and subtle work than the similarly titled The Moviegoer. and languages as well. Ginger. How Far Can You Go? (with which it shares a similar religious doubt or reservation). David Lodge's first two published novels provide a useful introduction to his increasingly dialogic -and increasingly self-conscious -. Just as the characters go to the Palladium for a variety of reasons -. formerly the grander Palladium Theatre. As he discovered. The Palladium Moviehouse. as the plural of its title suggests. -108- 6 The Picturegoers. The Picturegoers. published one year later. It acts as a meeting place. and The British Museum Is Falling Down (in which the concatenation of parodies is but a variation on Lodge's dialogic aesthetic. even unusual. the carnival freedom of styles in this later work parallelling the convergence of characters at the cinema in The Picturegoers).and our own interpretive freedom. in stumbling. and the Art of Narrative Doubling TAKEN TOGETHER .147 ). not only for people but for styles. Walker Percy's novel is an existential fiction of a special. For Percy's version of Gabriel Marcel's homo viator (sovereign wayfarer). the genial underground man. Many of the same dialogic concerns and techniques that inform his later works appear here in embryo. kind. In his subsequent reading of Bakhtin and Gerard Genette. You're Barmy. Lodge substitutes a "mass" of Joycean -109narrative focalizations. "the more the characters are allowed to speak for themselves in the narrative text. He permits each of his picturegoers to speak in his or her own turn and in his or her own voice within the novel's fictive space and limited carnival freedom ( Interview with be entertained.ever after. of Percy's narrator-protagonist. to . if not in complexity and execution. Clearly. serves the same purpose on the thematic level that the novel itself does in the larger structural sense. Binx Bolling. The Picturegoers anticipates Changing Places and especially Small World (despite differences in tone).practice. as it were. This comic successor to Dostoevsky's fiction distills the Russian's dialogic breadth in the person. takes a sociological rather than an existential approach." In overall structure. the stronger will be our sense of their individual freedom of choice -. writ large not so much for the near-blind reader (or critic) as for the tentative would-be novelist. or rather the voice. Within the moviegoer's seemingly flat discourse one hears echoes of Kierkegaard on the one hand and American popular culture on the other. exaggerated form. Lodge found the theoretical rationale behind his inchoate use of essentially dialogic narrative techniques. another first novel by another Catholic writer.

who goes to the movies to fuel his sadistic sexual fantasies and in this way to find some release from his desperate loneliness. or marred. Father Kipling. whose loveless marriage leads him to have an affair with Doreen. or set behind the characters' eyes." " Lodge's manner with narrative viewpoints is innovative. or intersecting. to earn a living -. "In The Picturegoers. and Damien. You're Barmy and Out of the Shelter. but nonetheless largely discrete plots. to rest. Instead. Berkeley. the novelist's own camera -. one because Honan goes too far and the other because he does not go far enough. Harry. he does not call attention to the stylistic variations themselves. at every turn by the same melodramatic excess that also characterizes (though less noticeably) Ginger. There is the parish priest. they are narrated in variously stylized ways in the manner of Joyce's "scrupulous meanness" or what Park Honan has called Lodge's "cinematic style. Hilda. who seems much like Blatcham. to kill time. That is. Then there is the Mallory family in whose traditionally Catholic home Mark becomes "a willing prisoner. Then there are Bridget and Len whose love leads to marriage but that familiar maneuver of impressionism -. especially insofar as it correctly links Lodge's novel with his theory of the language of fiction. Lodge learned to overcome this tendency towards melodrama by gradually adopting." Honan contends. for his goal here is to achieve a heightened realism. who launches an unsuccessful counteroffensive against the Palladium and its manager. marriage seems likely to be dogged both by poverty and their film-induced romantic illusions. his flawed first -111novel. there is a subtle shift between kinds of vocabularies as viewpoints change" ( 171 ).a variety of characters and overlapping. to titillated. who has turned from religion to a nearly lesbian love for Clare and now finally to movie idols in order to satisfy her own need for love. a lapsed Catholic and aspiring writer. a number of distancing poses borrowed . what Lodge achieves is anything but unobtrusive in a novel marked. one of his young employees.the reader experiences a similar diversity in the novel as a whole -. And there is the young thug. which is to say not nearly as far as Lodge the novelist does. it has elements of both but "belong[s] to neither" ( 39 ). Mr. 'Reality' is perceived and felt by representative South Londoners. Whatever he may have intended. not a postmodern selfconsciousness. To begin with. even in this. But the viewpoints are not developed in the showily imitative fashion of dialogue. a priggish Catholic whose desire for Clare is as abhorrent as it is chaste. And finally there are two characters that we do not actually see at the Palladium: Clare's former student. located midway between city and country. Honan claims that Lodge achieves "the linguistic variety he wants within the limits of cinematic unobtrusiveness" ( 169 ). the hometown he has left. The separate narratives not only focus on different characters." as attracted by the "warmth -110and humanity" that his own family lacks and to the older daughter Clare. as he is repelled by their simple religious faith. It is nonetheless open to two objections. There is Mark Underwood. Honan's description is accurate.

The passage in which Harry "quotes" from a cheap novel illustrates in the simplest possible way the kind of further internal dialogization which pervades the entire novel and which manifests itself in still . This narrative cinematism is. films and cheap novels that manifest themselves in a given character's language -.from the English comic novel and from postmodern fiction. less and less sure of his identity" ( 93 ). to finding in Bakhtin's theoretical writings the articulation of his own aesthetic practice.always observing themselves in a spontaneous emotion? It was the penalty of being (or trying to be) a writer.than Honan claims. hymns. parts of the Catholic mass. his reach is far greater than Honan allows. for example. But it was a painful debilitating process. and shaped a character around it with the dust of experience. It is the form as well. excerpts from Christopher Marlowe's writings. but Mark's notebooks. Damien's imagined conversations with Clare.which I cannot now read without embarrassment" ( Write On 61 ). To create characters you took a rib from your own personality. and as if by magic a crescent appeared on the man's cheek. and even a scene from a cheap novel which Harry has apparently memorized: "A blade glinted. I believe. but the stylizations too often only reflect what the characters all too allegorically "mean": Mark the skeptic and writer-to-be. which begins to resemble the trailers he and the other picturegoers watch before the feature film commences. Lodge's reader may very well agree with the author's own assessment of The Picturegoers as "an immature work. etc. Usually the characters were still born. Although Lodge's execution is considerably less successful -.his prose less cinematically unobtrusive -. Clare the whilom nun moving towards sexual love. psalms. internal discourse. It is not only the content and style of. as in the case of Mark's thinking. one of Father Kipling's sermons. the novel Lodge wrote reflects all too well the limitations that Mark discerns in himself: "Were other people like this. After reading such lines. more recently. To a large extent. these stylizations often recapitulate the novel's larger structure insofar as they are themselves not uniform and whole but dialogized still further. Thus. he wondered -.. They have become so increasingly self-conscious in their dialogism that Lodge the dialogical novelist has in fact come to merge with Lodge the critic who has gone from propounding the language of fiction to working with structuralism and. the sheer number and extent of these carnivalizations suggest that Lodge's first novel may have as much in common with Ulysses as it does with either Dubliners or Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. The Picturegoers includes not only various stylized languages but numerous interpolated and carnivalized forms as well. In The Picturegoers. the language is indeed stylized. Thus. more especially in this novel of and about private longings. and the old Adam got weaker and weaker. one aspect not only of the modern novel in general as an essentially dialogical genre -112but of Lodge's novels in particular. even as the novel itself is made up of alternating stylizations..both his external speech and. as one would naturally expect in such a novel. with little beads of blood seeping out like juice from an orange" ( 140 ). The reader finds not only summaries of films. Doreen's fantasies.

I do hope you have a nice life. the picture he and Clare have just seen.. Mendelssohn. Nothing said. the hollowness of his spiritual rebirth.'I was a bitch' -. Her language captures all too well both her own dismay and Mark's posturing. special graces. what to say.-113more striking fashion in a number of passages that deal with Mark and Clare. She was impatient for the heavy swing of blunt. Mark says of the abrupt. later in the novel. In the words that Mark "cries out" -. a buffet. We witness in their language the fact that Mark and Clare have -114in effect traded characters. for example. we must keep in touch. Merge with the Mallorys. simple statements: 'I'm sorry' -. though in a form modified by some essential feature of their characters: in Clare's case. the happy couple. it's been nice knowing you." 'I can't be true to the old evil in me.. unexpected ending of Bicycle Thieves. unaccustomed as I am to public speaking. pause for photo.roll on bed? The reception. her authenticity. Logical really. Name the day. as well as its sociological perspective. If dishonoured her. Thank God we're going. what the hell does one say -. I give you the Bride's parents! My own parents looking a bit sick of all the tipsy Irish. (172) Or Clare. " 'that's just the brilliance of it. into the car. She has become more skeptical and self-consciously dialogical. towards the end of this same scene. yes I am. I've enjoyed running my hands up and down your spine. Mark writes in his notebook: But not tenderness she wanted now. Although its plural title suggests its dialogical point and method. Earlier in the novel. radiant. after what he had said to Pat. No American or English director would have dared to end it there.. Clare wonders. kippers in the car. O ha ha Uncle Tom's sozzled ha ha good Old Uncle Tom. Suppose could do worse. confetti. in Mark's his posturing. confetti. "Was that all then? Well good-bye. nuptial Mass. cheerio" ( 202 ). could do worse. till death do us. must then make an honest woman of her? Marriage with Clare.'I love you' " (198).'It was my fault' -. so glad you could come. Thinking back to the sexual passion he has released in Clare. The same cannot be said of The Picturegoers. yes didn't she. double bed. In the thoughts and words of each we hear the echoes of what the other formerly was. And again. marry a Mallory. it was so nice of you to give me my faith back. and be false to -. a baby started.whatever may be potentially good in me now!' " ( 200 ) -the reader hears echoes not only of Clare's former innocence but of Damien's selfrighteousness as well. Passion now. bride in white. a glass of champagne cider each. and he more strident and monologically certain. small hotel. Our Lady of Perpetual Sucker. but it was expected. The point of the film is the plural of its title' " ( 141 -142). . feeling oppressed by the heat and "incapable of sustaining any longer the intolerable labour of love." "How long was this fencing going to continue.

Ginger. As for the third influence. is particularly evident in Lodge's second novel. Another and far more important influence was John Osborne's play. The task he set himself was to create for the reader a sense of the tedium of peacetime military life without actually making the novel itself tedious to read. the most localized. He has come to judge his second novel as a work of "missed possibilities" and has located the chief source of these missed possibilities in the genesis and composition of the novel as "an act of revenge. his own character. or skepticism. published shortly after a second. "subliminally. if not a major novel. Berkeley decides that things have gone too far." He resembles.ideas that he would later bring together under the title Language of Fiction ( David Lodge Interviewed 113 ). then certainly an interesting. from which he borrowed. "cautiously. Ginger. You're Barmy is. and indeed throughout his career as novelist and as critic. In The Picturegoers. whose showing of a rock and roll film in order to save his ailing theater brings about an unexpected result. Lodge seems to have been afflicted with a belated case of the anxiety of influence. or voices. In comments on his second novel." that novel's "systematic flashback technique" as well as the final "e" of his protagonist's surname. Despite its shortcomings. In an interview with Bernard Bergonzi. Lodge hoped to overcome the problem in two ways: one was to con- . the obscenities in his characters' speech. pointing to what he feels are weaknesses in the novel that are clearly the result of a young author's failure to go it on his own. The dialogic play of these two tendencies. Lodge explained the nature of this technical problem. when the dead not only awaken but begin dancing in the aisles. Mr. was Norman Mailer's war novel. which provided Lodge with a simple means for dealing with a then troubling aspect of the book's realism. it was only long after the novel had been written that Lodge became aware of how completely he had cast it in the structural mold of Graham Green's The Quiet American. Mr. David Lodge has identified three major literary influences ("Introduction" 4). Looking back on Ginger. Look Back in Anger." However. Lodge would undoubtedly understand and sympathize. The Naked and the Dead. a performance of which Lodge attended while on leave -115from the same National Service that forms the ostensible subject matter of his own contribution to the literature of Britain's angry young men. even impressive. he has always tempered his willingness to explore new narrative and theoretical modes with a healthy sense of caution. One.Lodge chooses not to end his novel abruptly or brilliantly but. revised (deMailerized) edition was published in paperback in 1970. You're Barmy." an angry look backwards at his two-year stint in the National Service ( "David Lodge Interviewed"112). Osborne. Berkeley. "It awaken[s] many dead souls to life. Its strength derives much less from its overt subject matter and Lodge's "angry" response to it than it does from the ways in which he solved "the technical problem" that the writing of the novel posed and from the relation between Lodge's solution to this problem and the ideas about narrative theory and practice that he was then formulating -. instead. one. and Greene played in its conception and composition. in this regard. You're Barmy and on the roles Mailer.

. in the introduction he wrote in 1981 for a third (reMailerized) edition (in which "fugg" and "c------t" are restored and the novel transformed into a period piece). we do not read the "confessional outpouring" Jonathan wrote (although we may . however. Later. self-contained worlds. however. and becomes in the process "a voyeur spying on my own experience" ( 12 ). or trace. To begin simply. Lodge is undoubtedly correct in his assessment. aesthetically as well. be understood in a quite different way. Insofar as the frame insists upon a development of the protagonist's character that the rest of the novel does not adequately prepare for. faces a similar dilemma. The military experience is thus itself doubled -. but not always distinguishable.beginning and end. a -117constant shuttling back and forth of the narrative between the last days of Jonathan's tour of duty at Badmore and his first weeks at Catterick (the flashback technique mentioned earlier). Lodge's frame-and-tale structure forms part of a much larger pattern of doublings that in effect makes up the novel's underlying structure. The reader. times. It was also an answer that seemed to insist upon the protagonist-narrator's development.-116centrate on the first weeks (of basic training) and on the last few days before the protagonist-narrator. Catterick and Badmore -. The soldiercommuter is never either wholly soldier or wholly civilian. the addition of the prologue-and-epilogue frame entails a chronological doubling: "now. partly an answer to a moral problem" ( 113 ). however. and that anticipates as well his later interest in Gerard Genette's structuralist theory of narrative grammars. And there is as well a similar doubling within the framed tale.. Each carries the residue. Jonathan Browne.and within this doubling contrasted with civilian life: "For us soldiercommuters 'home' and 'camp' were two disparate. Jonathan looks back on events that occurred "then. either for the narrator-protagonist or for the reader. for the story he reads not only concerns different temporal and geographical settings but has been composed by Jonathan at different." during his two years of National Service." in the narrative present. The changes are never quite so complete. and the second was to add to this story a prologue-and-epilogue frame that would allow him to justify the narrative method he had adopted and "to convey some kind of moral comment on my ["somewhat unsympathetic"] narrator. perhaps even should. Lodge questioned whether his handling of this "technical problem" did not in fact constitute "a failure of nerve" on his part ( 3 ). as we shall see. changing like chameleons to melt into the new environment" (127). with their own laws and customs. So the prologue-and-epilogue was partly an answer to a formal problem. then. is mustered out. morally and. whose reading of the framed tale doubles Jonathan's reading of his manuscript. of the other into their respective environments. that provides a structural metaphor for the novel's moral substance.. That is to say. every week we passed from one to the other and back again. This "failure of nerve" can. the intentional fallacy notwithstanding. Rather than constituting either a deus ex machina imposed by the author or an unconscious borrowing by a young Catholic novelist from another and more experienced one.

forget and think we do).. the reviser. Instead of remaining entirely discrete. He may have. but this is another. but he did not -118need to. and finally the commentator who addresses the reader directly in the prologue and epilogue. You're Barmy demands the kind of close critical reading it seems least to invite. the narrative voice speaks not only as "author" (which Jonathan of course is. but more accurately. As in the case of those realistic novels which Lodge discusses in Language of Fiction. earlier novelists [i. different Jonathan who is (was?) already at least double (geographically and narratively split. double. as he himself claims. Ginger. of course. He is the writer. To complicate matters a bit more. You're Barmy appears. or even. for readers of the third edition. As narrator. conventionally realistic prose. while the idea of revision is a textual fact to which Jonathan admits in his prologue and epilogue. fictively) but for its author. And as narrator Jonathan is further multiplied. merge dialogically to create a surprisingly rich and troublingly complex characterization in a novel that. "My response to the Army. from Lodge's commentary on them in his introduction. the character development of which Lodge writes in his introduction to the third edition may be said to constitute a failure of nerve insofar as it attempts to reduce the dialogic complexity of Jonathan's character to the level of simple monologue. This is not to say that Lodge consciously and meticulously labored to create chronologically discrete compositional stages of Jonathan's narration. the realists/premodernists] is less integrally integrated to their achievements. each having its own distinct though not always or even often distinguishable voice. What we read is that text as it was subsequently revised -lengthened and "polished.e." ( Lodge. multiple. Jonathan comments on the self he was then. Language of Fiction 30 ). we risk implying that the language of other. 1 At times. our reading of the framed story's two textual levels cannot be separated from the fictive author's ( Jonathan's) commentary on them in the appended frame and. Lodge. -119- . who in writing Ginger. The reader cannot be sure because. to have split himself in two. in the surface texture of its seemingly artless. In this respect. "shifted from an indignant ____________________ 1 "But in so far as the study of the novelist's language is limited to those who most obviously invite it. narratively speaking. these separate selves." Lodge has written.. a series of images in a funhouse mirror. Catterick and Badmore). the textual evidence of these revisions is missing." The result may be a Wordsworthian emotion recollected in tranquility or something quite different and far more self-serving. He needed only to create a Borgesian sense of their presence to lead the reader to intuit that "Jonathan" is not single.. suggests a similarly deceptive easy-tounderstand narrative depthlessness. because their use of language answers immediately to our view of how literary language works.

Each qualifies the other. Pauline. Better to be inside reading William Empson's Seven Types of Ambiguity (as Jonathan does) than to be outside and therefore paradoxically in the uncertain ambiguous world. but that they somehow share the truth between them. to making himself ( Henry Fleming fashion) the object of the world's injustice.. on the other hand. "success consisted in determining which box would be most pleasant for you. gregarious. especially one as prone as Jonathan is to self-pity. As he explains at one point. the most lingering of all the unpleasant emotions. However. "educated up to the university level: thinks too much of himself" ( 52 ).'" Mike tells him. and getting into it. The Picturegoers. and naively credulous. More interesting is the way in which Lodge assigns the halves of his own divided response to army life to two different characters. represent sides of Lodge's own mind during his tour of duty. almost allegorically. The comment recorded in his army file." 'but God help me from the unchristian sort' " (160). then you could make it as comfortable as possible until you could get out.. Jonathan is calculating. Jonathan. as surely as Mike's were foolhardiness and failure" ( 217 ). Mike suffers from claustrophobia and requires considerable physical as well as psychological space (paradoxically so. then Jon's appears to work not at all. The point is not that either Jonathan or Mike is right. On the other hand. the other a study in secularism and self-promoting anonymity. "I have always tried to avoid occasion for regret. If you were forced to inhabit an unpleasant box for a time.moral resistance to its values. self-consciousness. Although (to put the matter in a crudely biographical way) Browne and Brady do. and voyeuristic detachment. for example. in the confusion of the elements" ( 196-197).. -120Keeping the spatial metaphor in mind. Jonathan Browne and Mike Brady. the significant fact is that whereas in his monological introduction the two are conveniently and easily separated. difficult to like Jonathan and so to accept that his views have any moral validity whatsoever. Mike is impulsive. is at . in the novel they exist and intersect dialogically. That Lodge managed to use his time wisely is evidenced by the fact that he wrote much of his first novel. self-centered. idealistic. actually seems to prefer various forms of confinement. pragmatic. however. though ostensibly a free thinker. and agnostic. while in the National Service. it is impossible not to agree that his judgments about himself and others are often correct and that his selfpity is at times warranted. though never to the point that Lodge is able -. we can say that Jonathan is correct in his summary analysis of his and Mike Brady's differences: "My temperament was prudence and my destiny success.or at least willing a pragmatic determination to make myself as comfortable as possible and to use my time as profitably as possible" ( 2 . they are in simple opposition to one another.3 ). replaced by selfishness. If Mike's conscience works posit a monologic synthesis that will resolve the characters' and the reader's moral dilemma. It is hard to like such a "reasonable" character. metaphorical "boxes" in which he can prosper in his own preferred narrow fashion. Jon explains as he ponders whether or not to deflower his girlfriend.. On the surface of Lodge's narrative. Jonathan's syntactically balanced assessment is not without its own ironic double: " 'I may not have the virtue of Christian prudence. It is. [I]t was better to be in the most uncomfortable box than outside. by prudent foresight" ( 46 ). given the narrowness of his religious beliefs).. The one is virtually a caricature of Irish Catholicism and "grotesque individuality" ( 50 ).

For Mike. the novel creates a morally and textually ambiguous world.. the army means something quite different: the interruption of his academic studies. which somehow sanctioned my more self-centred grievances. the death of Percy Higgins. The syntactical parallelism in this comment reflects the balance of objectivity and subjectivity. efforts to deal with this ambiguity. Instead of promoting a moral position. and I did not wish to become involved in some wild. Mike's hostility to the Army seemed to have an essentially moral basis. "warts and all. Similarly. But it was becoming increasingly clear to me that Mike's "morality" was an unreliable guide to conduct. the limiting of his personal freedom. although objectionable.. ( Lodge blurs further all simple distinctions by developing parallels between Percy and Mike on the one hand and Percy and Jonathan on the other. Percy is. one who is willing to expose himself.especially self-awareness -. which is. for example. to the reader to read . and the loss of certain creaturely comforts. and to save my soul'" ( 158 ). cannot be entirely separated from that awareness -. It is difficult not to credit to some degree his realistic if selfcentered point of view. especially Jonathan's and Mike's. he says in a "pedantic. of fairness and injustice. This ambiguity is most pronounced in Lodge's handling of one of the novel's central narrative events. or rather a challenge.aroused ambiguous feelings in me. I mean "moral" literally. On the other hand I viewed with little enthusiasm life in the Army without Mike's moral support." catechetical way. it deprives him of his " 'free will'" and thus makes it impossible for him to fulfill his purpose on earth. "'to exercise my free will. even as the reader questions the value of a life in which amorality and selfishness are so rigorously pursued. friend or foe?" (159) challenge that Jonathan cannot bring himself to take seriously. The novel focuses on the sur-122vivors'. ( 152 ) Mike's rigid moral code is as archaic as the army's feudal infrastructure and the "who goes there. The prospect of parting with Mike. like Mike a Catholic fundamentalist and like Jonathan a sheltered loner in need of Mike's help.which so clearly con-121trasts with Mike's narrowness and which identifies him as a distinctly "modern" character.) The novel in fact opens with an invitation.once accurate and yet (given the context of the army's distrust of and distaste for "education") patently unfair. Whether Percy's death is accidental or a suicide is a crucial question that Lodge deliberately leaves unanswered. as well as the larger dialogical character of the entire novel. quixotic crusade against the Army." to the reader's own voyeuristic gaze. the army is " 'evil'". For Jonathan. Jon's voyeurism and reasonableness. I could not deceive myself that our friendship had been deep and instinctive: it had been almost artificially forced by our mutual distaste for the Army.

Doing his duty. Baker). If Lodge is concerned with the question of ambiguous meaning. Both the critical irony and the moral ambiguity deepen in a least in the minds of his military supervisors -. does not cancel out what the novel's parallel structure implies: that Jonathan is poised somewhere between self-pity and moral concern. Jonathan lashes out at a small group of soldiers who have (in this case unjustly) claimed he was " 'not being very worried about his mate." the novel begins. and therefore nearly monologic. the irony here. As a result. purpose. However. As he waits to discover Mike's fate. scene in which Jonathan visits Mike at the military stockade where. claiming that what actually troubles Mike is the loss not of Percy but of part of his leave. But in a later scene. Similarly. that helped free him from his first captivity contributes to the novel's pervasive irony and general blurring of clear-cut distinctions. Immediately after making this Brady-like outburst. Mike is one of the attackers. Jonathan becomes -. the reader finds himself adrift in a morally ambiguous textual world that offers . one which in turn echoes the first. "It is like reading another man's writing. and again parallel. Or did I deliberately prevent them from so working out?" ( 11 ). "It is strange to read what I wrote three years ago. ironically echoes Jonathan's own selfishness and insensitivity a page or two earlier. The soldier who scoffs at Mike's grief over Percy's death. As the ironies multiply. he saves the camp's officers. He compounds the irony to the point that individual ironies dissolve (though not without leaving a trace) in the larger ambiguous whole that results. then we would have to say that his narrator is obsessed by it.Jonathan's story according to a literary equivalent of the physicist's laws of uncertainty and complementarity. Things have certainly not worked out as I expected. whom he holds responsible for Percy's death. Jonathan discovers that he has been assigned to guard duty. but his part in the raid is the condition upon which his release from the IRA (whose violence he abhors) is predicated. not only symbolizes this obsession but seems to have influenced his writing as well. It is true that much of the narrative parallelism in the novel serves a too clearly ironic. His response -. the IRA. the stable point of view upon which the successful use of moral irony is said to depend dissolves. whom he loathes. I'm all right" attitude (174175). Empson's Seven Types of Ambiguity.'" Jonathan calls them "'stupid.and to win a bet.puts him in the same moral as well as linguistic realm as those whom he has just criticized. The book Jonathan reads just before he gains his release from the service. Mike has just been taken into custody after clubbing Sgt. in foiling the IRA attack.what for two years he has managed to avoid being: a good soldier. For example. That Mike should find it necessary to gain his release from the very group. following his escape from his first imprisonment (for striking Sgt. he has been confined for taking part in an IRA raid on the Badmore camp." 'Fugg the Army'" -123 (176) -. we find ambiguity rather than irony. selfish bastards'" and especially (and rightly) condemns their "Fugg you Jack. Baker. Lodge handles the raid much as he handled Percy's death earlier in the novel. while it clearly underscores what appears to be Jonathan's dominant and certainly least appealing trait. from the same kind of embarrassment he himself suffered moments before when one of those same officers launched his own surprise attack in order to test camp security -.

fashion.. the echoes of Catholic doctrine in certain of Jonathan's phrasings." In the novel's religious subtext the reader detects the residue of Jonathan's studied and all too serious literariness (the parallels he draws between military life and Dante's Inferno. While the former suggests the stilted "literariness" and self-pitying sentimentality of Jonathan's character and point of view.of what? Reassurance? Dismissal? Benediction? Would I ever know?" ( 216 ). from the meanings of individual words to the construction of syntactically balanced sentences. and complementary subchapters. Whatever Mike intends his words to mean. even melodramatic. but that teases the reader with moral conundrums ( Jonathan was unaware -124that Mike was among the attackers." "benediction.him certain simple facts and connections ( Jonathan.." "mission." "expiation. As their visit draws to an end. " 'It's all right. among others. Other instances are less direct -. lifting his hand "in a gesture of . "occasion of sin" in his "occasion for -125 regret" and "firm purpose of amendment" from the Catholic sacrament of penance in his "possibilities of amendment." "contrition. or more accurately. this religious subtext directly: "confession. than about the shortcomings of Lodge's writing. for his auditor and for Lodge's reader they serve both to console and to condemn. as does the sign Mike makes as Jonathan departs. another of the books he reads during his National Service) as well as Mike's continuing presence in Jonathan's life and writing." "covet. You were only doing your duty' " ( 215 ). and. but it is a heavy hand that tells the reader more about the workings of Jonathan's mind." "eremitical"(!). His words echo Jonathan's own remark." for example.." "conscience. the latter points to one of the ways in which Mike has impressed himself on Jonathan's imagination and on his writing. for example.Jonathan's Peter-like denials. noting elsewhere (in the prologue). more effectively." "indoctrinate. the ironies and uncertainties here and elsewhere in the novel are laid on in a heavy-handed. compounded ironies. for example. In his epilogue. Admittedly./. Together they create an interesting tension between Jonathan's largely selfish views on the one hand and his tentative moral gropings on the other. that Mike's influence has been far less . parallel scenes. first of Percy and later of Mike as "friends. Jon. I believe." "transubstantiation. Jack. Just as the structure of the novel betrays doubling and parallelism at all narrative levels. foils the IRA raid and so is indirectly responsible for his friend's capture). but though he offers this view Jonathan also tends to reject or at least modify it. "It's all right. so in similar fashion does Jonathan's style evidence a dual tendency towards the melodramatic on the one hand and the religious on the other. The precise extent of Mike's influence and the uses to which Jonathan puts it are less certain. Mike says. Jonathan claims that "my relationship with Mike had been a fuse laid in the bed-rock of my self-complacency" ( 221 ). Certain words evidence this moral. but what would he have done had he known?)." just a few pages before..

Significantly. For all its seeming transparency. "I hope Mike will agree to stay with us for a while. but whether this transformation signals transfiguration or falsification -. At one point. I feel a certain panic when I reflect that he will no longer need my support. and frustrated longings (psychological. alternately. "The demon Form" leads him to turn his "confessional outpouring" into something more aesthetically crafted. like his Biblical namesake. "I don't think I am a better person. and father. but perhaps there has been a small advance" ( 11 ). and linguistic: Jonathan's ignorance of Spanish makes it difficult for him to communicate with anyone on the island). The selfflagellation of his self-begetting novel at once chronicles life and competes with it. All that Jonathan writes here is understandable.the religious confession -requires this kind of selfportraiture? Beginning his work as a "confessional outpouring" ( 11 ). now that his friend is to be released and his own "mission" over. As a result. Much the same can be said of Jonathan's mission as a writer. -by a wife and family I do not greatly love. even -. "He has been the focal point of my life for so long that I am curiously jealous of the rest of the world with whom he will shortly resume contact.explosive. It is not a question of what he will do without me. He has abandoned his academic studies and taken a teaching position in a small rural school in order to be close to the prison where he can visit Mike as often as possible and minister to his not made clear. what first attracted Jonathan to her was her "femininity" (141). but even the penitent can be seduced. perhaps it cannot be made clear. sexual. Outwardly the change appears considerable. Jonathan as narrator immediately adds. You're Barmy is very much about the ambiguous relationship between art and life. and I am its high degree of honest self-criticism -. During the three years since he completed his National Service as well as the writing and revision of his manuscript. the writer monastically ("eremitically") sets himself apart from the hedonish world. by which word Jonathan seems to mean her feminine receptiveness. "now he is free. or more particularly to confession. but does it do so because Jonathan's selfishness makes him such a morally appalling figure in the reader's eyes or because the narrative mode in which his tale is told (or. or even a happier one. Jonathan hopes to "build a life of modest usefulness" ( 223 ) as a teacher. as Pauline quickly comes to realize when she finds she has to compete with the manuscript for Jonathan's attention. Jonathan readily admits that his "mission" has been both an unselfish act and an excuse to be nothing more than a nominal husband and father. Also. Ginger. in which he has chosen to tell his tale) -. Jonathan has. But then. Jonathan turns to writing. Jonathan's honesty disarms and appalls the reader. in a verbal gesture that is entirely characteristic of the Jonathan of the -126framed tale. Their island paradise transmogrifies into an inferno of sickness ( Pauline's food poisoning).or both -. but of what I will do without him" ( 222 )." Jonathan writes. and by a career that I find no more than tolerable" (222). less as a sexual partner than as an audience for his . specifically Majorca where Jonathan and Pauline's dream vacation turns nightmare. Equally startling. husband. devoted himself to his friend.

My motives were. Baker). and it is the writing process itself that enables Jonathan to begin to understand himself. but the process through which that discovery may occur. Such a reading would certainly be in keeping with the pragmatic side of Jonathan's personality. the former's remarks quoted above curiously anticipate the latter's. but an author in search of an audience (in this case Pauline). Jonathan embodies one of the key points upon which Lodge's Language of Fiction theory rests: "in literary discourse.his manuscript and revised it for a second time (by adding the frame) suggests the ongoingness of his search to discover the meaning of his military experience and more particularly. On the other hand. In doing so.-127repressed monologues. evident -128throughout both his tale and the frame he appends to it: "even now. The reader cannot be sure whether Jonathan has indeed grown morally or whether any claim. warts and all. the fact that Jonathan has unearthed -. to rehearse the story properly. It occurs to me that these notes. Jonathan's narrative strategy may not be quite as disingenuous as the credulous reader would like to believe. the writer discovers what he has to say in the process of saying it. on the "technical problem" that the writing of the novel posed. of himself. The uncertainty is crucial. and had decided to tell her what I should say when Mike was charged. it seems. What complicates the reader's dilemma still further is the fact that Jonathan's willingness to put himself before the reader. firstly. Later. Jonathan is thus not only a character in search of an author (himself). some Joycean epiphany. for synthetic. is disarming. which I am jotting down on this momentous morning. through Mike.. I am not immune from the insinuations of Form. or even any narrative hint. This was the audience I had been seeking all the week-end" ( 137 ). to position myself as favourably as possible in relation to Pauline. Soon after they meet. might usefully form a prologue and epilogue to the main story. and secondly. a topic on which the usually garrulous Mike Brady has been noticeably reticent. Jonathan "considered very carefully what version I should give her of what I knew about the incident. and by exposing himself in this way the teller earns not only the reader's censure but his sympathy as well. The form of his narration and of Lodge's novel is therefore especially noteworthy in that the story Jonathan tells appears to be an act of self-incrimination. when he goes to Pauline to tell her what Mike has done (struck Sgt. This latter problem was by no means simple" ( 162 ). and the reader discovers what is said in responding to the way it is said" ( 64 ." ( 12 ). quoted earlier in this chapter. Given that Jonathan's position as narrator parallels Lodge's as author.or resurrected -. he confides in his manuscript. Read in the light of this passage.. of such growth on his part may be nothing more than a calculated attempt to once again position himself "as favourably as possible" in relation to his audience. she asks him to tell her about army life. What the reader experiences is not the act of selfdiscovery. Unfortunately. "The invitation could not have been more welcome. univocal readings (including the author's in his introduction) are precisely what the novel .65 ). the ending of the novel puts Jonathan in a particularly ambiguous position. What Jonathan could not bring himself to tell Pauline.

the narrator's examination of conscience into his examination of -130narrative. between belief and clerkly skepticism. one in which the relation between the formal and moral aspects of art are given a new post-liberal twist. Lodge quotes "a very characteristic statement of Dr. however. 65 ) In such disclaimers. contingent life into formal art. [Linguistics can never replace literary criticism because linguistics claims to be science and literature] concerns values." we detect much the same play of contending voices as in Ginger.. Ginger.mistaken: a true "science" of stylistics is a chimera. and in some cases recapitulates. -129we find that it can be appreciated only in terms of the moral preoccupations that characterize the novelist's peculiar interest in life.manages to avoid. What the novel ultimately points to is not any "failure of nerve" on Lodge's part but. [W]hile a literary structure has an objective existence which can be objectively (or "scientifically") described. Whether it is or is not useful to speak of the "formal perfection" of Ginger. What we can speak of with assurance. on the one hand. Its author David Lodge and its narrator-protagonist Jonathan Browne are poised.a process for which the unfinished state of Jonathan's manuscript stands as a metaphor. You're Barmy is a moot point. You're Barmy. Leavis's": "when we examine the formal perfection of Emma. many of the same concerns that Lodge has voiced in his critical writings. In it biography metamorphoses into fictive autobiography. is its formal consistency as well as the ways in which the novel anticipates. 57 ." Lodge then "emends" the quotation in the following manner: "when we examine the moral preoccupations that characterize Jane Austen's peculiar interest in life as manifested in Emma. as I believe its reader must be. Lodge's second novel evidences a profound concern for "formal perfection" that.. And values are not amenable to scientific method. ( 55 . Certainly. necessitates a retreat from the values associated with much . In the Language of Fiction. such a description has little value in literary criticism until it is related to a process of human communication which is not amenable to objective description.You're Barmy succeeds to the degree that it embodies and not merely espouses such an interplay of conflicting voices. "the demon Form" over "the confessional outpouring... Bradbury and others have complained that as a critic Lodge favors linguistic analysis over humanistic light of the numerous disclaimers of any such preference that punctuate the Language of Fiction -. we find that they can be appreciated only in terms of the formal perfection of the novel" ( 68 ). as in his contention that the rigorous brand of verbal analysis he advocates and practices must be "applied intuitively. the open-endedness and necessary incompleteness of the dislogical process -. the writing of his story of National Service is Jonathan's most ambiguous and most transformative act. instead." The charge is at once merited and yet -...

including the one between the novel's two epigraphs. the effect is very disturbing' " ( 129 130 ). Worse. premodernist) art but that may. of the rhythm method that he and Barbara. " 'are using up experience at a dangerous rate.the narrative possibilities of this and other "jokey relations" ( " David Lodge Interviewed" 110 )." the novel explores -and exploits -. But novels deal with ordinary people in ordinary ways and have. Part of this context is religious: the convening of Vatican II and. thus there was little danger of confusing literature with life. are really enacting events that have already been written about in some novel or other. On the one hand the novel tells the comic story of a day in the life of twenty-fiveyear-old Adam Appleby. too. and Edward) continues to increase. Adam contends.. Barbara. English style: a parodic collage in the guise of a seamless comic realistic novel. his alphabetical family ( Adam. Dominic. Adam Appleby is certainly confused even though he is able to theorize about the very condition that besets him throughout the novel: " 'Novelists.' " he says. or rather by-products. at the same time. Although Barbara calls his idea "cracked.humanistic (especially realistic. Just as well. if not moral certainty. life and literature. you see.. most people don't realise this -.double not in its structure (as in the case of Ginger.before his scholarship runs out. in the modern age. realism and parody. creating a comical but nonetheless disturb-132ing confusion of realms. Of course. You're Barmy) but in its very texture." 'just about exhausted the possibilities of life. While early reviewers tended to overlook the novel's parodic side. Clare. -131- 7 The British Museum Is Falling Down: or. "an obstinate rationality prevents me. So all of us.on the long sentence in three modern English novels -.' " In prenovelistic times. a post-graduate student who knows he will not finish his thesis -. feed on and reflect each other. later readers run the risk of making the opposite mistake and of thus failing to realize that in Lodge's third novel.. Up from Realism The British Museum Is Falling Down is another of Lodge's double novels -. a few years later. suggest the most viable means for achieving moral clarification.they fondly imagine that their little lives are unique. literature was chiefly allegorical and fantastical. and funnier. Oscar Wilde's deadpan claim that "life imitates art" and Samuel Johnson's contention that although he has "fear enough" to be a Catholic. because once you do tumble to it." One way to approach the relationship between the epigraphs (and what they suggest about the rest of the novel) is to consider briefly the general context in which the work was conceived and composed. The British Museum is a post-Sot-Weed Factor but preLost in the Funhouse instance of the literature of exhaustion. a Pontifical Commission whose task it was to investigate the . continue to practice. On the other hand. as believing Catholics. as his academic prospects dwindle. the children being the fruits.

and Lodge began The British Museum. 55 ). and their sexual relations were forced into a curious pattern: three weeks of patient graphplotting. Rather . they wrote a satirical revue. This behaviour was known as Rhythm and was in accordance with the Natural Law" ( 14 ). "Comedy is based on contrast. By exploiting the discrepancy between the mechanical methods and the Church's designation of it as the Natural Law. the novel was chiefly written in the United States during the 1964-65 academic year that Lodge spent there with his family. Just prior to beginning his third novel. however. and in general enjoying the "stimulating and liberating effect of the American experience" ( "Introduction" 1 ). however. as Lodge has himself explained ( " David Lodge Interviewed"110).Church's teaching on birth control. touring. "whose fault it mostly is that I have tried to write a comic novel." and "the sedation of routine. not simply a comic novel but a comically parodic novel which evidences Lodge the novelist's indebtedness to Lodge the critic." The British Museum is. the close analysis of language in the one facilitated the writing of the parodic passages in the other. they held out to many Catholics -Lodge among them -.the promise that a liberalizing of the Church's ban on all forms of artificial birth control was imminent. on incongruity" ( Lodge. Of equal importance is the novel's literary context. which rapidly petered out in exhaustion and renewed suspense. studying. Looking back at the earliest period of the Applebys' marriage. "On all sides a babble of academic conversation dinned in his [ Adam's] ears. and The British Museum Is Falling Down involves exposing and exploiting this incongruity. producing in the process his own artfully inconsistent. Between the Four Walls. followed by a few nights of frantic love-making. Adam Appleby "revolts" against "still repose. -134early postmodernist text. His liberation as a -133 writer had in a sense already begun some three years earlier when Malcom Bradbury joined the University of Birmingham English Department and began to convince Lodge of the liberating possibilities of literary comedy. Taken together. which he would later dedicate to Bradbury." "physical restraint. Barbara's ovulation seemed to occur late in her monthly cycle." including that of the rhythm method ( 40 ." Lodge writes in a chapter that is itself a parody of the "sherry party" scene found in many campus novels. There is. the narrator claims: "For three anxious months they had survived. both overtly and covertly. Together with Jim Duckett. Language of Fiction. Language250). Lodge achieves a similar if more effective and more self-conscious narrative revolution by carnivalizing his text in an effort to undermine the monological seriousness of various forms of authority. Lodge had completed his first critical study. Lodge explodes the baselessness of that "rage for consistency" ( "Introduction" 2 ) that he feels then characterized British (and American) Catholicism. another "jokey relation" worth mentioning: the one that pits the high seriousness of the critical enterprise against the decrowning vitality of Lodge's comic fiction. Unfortunately. including Eating People Is Wrong ( 136 ). Begun in England.

becomes increasingly disoriented as his day progresses.attest to the extent of Joyce's influence on Lodge. C. he suffers because of his religion. Lawrence. Snow.. like Bloom's." Lodge records it -. The novel's parodic style may thus be read as "a mimetically justified device" which. however.or finds -. Woolf. and therein lies the important difference between these two works. and Baron Corvo -. Adam. P. (Whether the novel is as fundamentally realistic as Burden and Bradbury claim is. but one who is himself given to parody. Lodge is able to carnivalize so adroitly because he cannibalizes so well.records that is. entirely "consistent with the novel's fundamental realism" (141). The novel's incessant and shifting parodic play delights Lodge's knowing reader who (unlike Joyce's) has little difficulty in subordinating the parodically disruptive surface to the forward movement of conventional narrative... If the Catholic novelist whose spirit broods over Ginger. seemingly conventional realistic novel and Joyce's mammoth literary museum of densely textured modernist prose. letters to the editor. Hemingway. and works at a bewildering rate. advertising jingles. disruptive play does disturb insofar as it intrudes. I suspect. however. are considerable even if on a first reading they are not entirely obvious. and his perceptions of life around him become increasingly phantasmagoric. the brief and entirely unrelated snippets from the conversations of various unidentified speakers. The novel devours and adapts not only literary authors. then in The British Museum it is Joyce. open to . As even this brief summary makes clear. Like Bloom also. including newspaper reports. To compound matters. Lodge uses "to expose and explore the literariness of the main character and his problems of selfdefinition" ( 179 ). but literary and subliterary forms as well. Kafka. that behind these "explicit parallels" lies a deeper and perhaps darker reason for Lodge's intense interest in Joyce's iconoclastic art. Lodge's novel has as its main character not only a postgraduate English student who feels -. The novel comprises a multitude of literary allusions and lengthy parodies of individual authors -. Bradbury has claimed. Joycean style (and structure) serves multiple purposes. encyclopedia well as of literary schools. the resemblances between Lodge's slim. As Dennis Jackson has -135usefully explained." Lodge's parodies are.that most of his life has been "annexed" by literature ( 82 ). however subtly and smilingly.. as Robert Burden has pointed out. styles.than merely noting the "babble. and he has fantasies of grandeur (which.on his home and his wife. "like Leopold Bloom. a note of uncertainty into a text that is otherwise easily read and readily consumed. Yet the parodic. This "babble" reflects on the micro-level the general structure of the entire novel: a concatenation of voices transformed into a seemingly sequential and apparently seamless narrative. Joyce. unpublished manuscripts. Jackson's summary of the "explicit parallels" between these two works -. plot summaries. are always followed by some sort of comic diminution" (473-474). You're Barmy is Graham Greene.Conrad Greene. James. Since "Adam works not only literally but figuratively in Bloomsbury's shadow. The novel's parodic. Lodge's hero keeps his mind constantly fixed . Ulysses. and slapstick comedy.including the parodies and the concluding soliloquies of Molly Bloom and Barbara Appleby -.

that there is a lot of parody. may be read as a reductio ad absurdum of Language of Fiction. so Lodge apparently felt. a literary Mr. for example. like Adam Appleby. I have been informed that there are several in that state who are sent there by their friends to pass away their time" ( 61 ). takes on intertextual meanings that the former secretary must never have intended: "Free or open access can . and that in this way the author is able to gain a surprising distance on his own literary identity" (261).in the sense that every young writer must have of the daunting weight of the literary tradition he has inherited. I think. many literary jokes. and much discussion of literary questions. in which he effectively underscores the least attractive features of their writing. for I remember often putting off hour after hour consulting some necessary book because I shrank from lifting the heavy volumes of the catalogue" ( 78 ). Hemingway (pp." for example. the necessity and yet seeming impossibility of doing something in writing that has not been done before" ( "Introduction" 4 . This is especially obvious in Lodge's wickedly funny parodies of Lawrence (pp. rather. as well as government statutes and the British Museum Catalogue --137in a decidedly humorous light by excerpting their words in such a way as to deprive them of their serious context (and content).112 ).. Peepers: "I spent my days at the British Museum. Even the epigraphs which precede each of the novel's ten chapters contribute to the general sense of comic leveling and carnivalistic play. And Yeats metamorphoses into a clownish wimp.5 ). Just as Adam feels at the end of his road. have been very delicate. He could draw on his study of the -136language of fiction and yet at the same time distance himself from a character made in the author's own image. Carlyle. Lodge places various figures and even objects of authority -Carlyle and Ruskin. is made to do a comic turn: "I believe there are several persons in a state of imbecility who come to read in the British Museum. The British Museum Is Falling Down undermines authority at virtually every level. therefore. his way of moving ahead by moving back.. often with autobiographical reference. and must. Further. Harold Bloom has called 'Anxiety of Influence' -. identified as a "former secretary to the British Museum. and James (pp. too. for example. or.question. 115-118). of demystifying the literary past by parodying it. his literature of exhaustion. an act of comic revenge. plans to write a novel]. ( Adam's thesis on "The Long Sentence in Three Modern English Novels. Arundell Esdaile. 108 . his options all used up.) As Lodge explains in Language of Fiction. 50 ." contributes an item which.) The parodies also enabled Lodge to transform critical theory into narrative art. The British Museum is.51 ). "it is characteristic of such novels [as Tristram Shandy and Pale Fire ] that the central figure is himself a writer [ Adam. given Adam's preoccupation with sex and birth control. It was "a way of coping with what. Lodge felt the weight of the literary past and as a result chose to turn the novel into "a kind of joke on myself" ( " David Lodge Interviewed" 110 ). in caricature of that image.

landladies. Greene. The two merge to a considerable extent in the tradition of the Catholic novel in which Lodge necessarily works and to which he has devoted a good deal of his time as a critic: a doctoral dissertation on the subject as well as pamphlet-length studies of Greene and Evelyn Waugh. a Chesterbelloc clone). and -138others found congenial but which Lodge considers outmoded. make it hard [for the reader] to discover the authentic register of the novel. In "The Novel Interrogates Itself: Parody as Self-Consciousness in Contemporary English Fiction. The anxiety of influence that Lodge felt so acutely and managed to turn to comic advantage is. including the Catholic novelist (here represented by the prissy hypocrite. in any position of authority whatsoever -. at a time when the debate "about authority and conscience" provoked by the birth control issue was just getting under way. however. something similar can be said about The British Museum. The general breakdown of authority extends further. Since the Catholic novel. by carnivalizing them. not because the novel is flawed in its form (the charge Bradbury levels against No Laughing Matter) but because Lodge's aesthetic (as well as the aesthetic integrity of his novel) requires such restraint.hardly be practised in so large a library as this" ( 96 ). which not only undermines the authority of his sources but paradoxi-139- .as incompetent bumblers. but it is an evolution itself somewhat disturbing. in short. I would add. equally important. about contemporary moral matters as well. parody and pastiche. department heads. with a conflict between secular and divine values in which the latter are usually allowed an ironic and unexpected triumph" ( Evelyn Waugh 30 ). literary executors. for Lodge depicts all of the novel's fathers. itself double: literary and religious.. No Laughing Matter. subjects. is "concerned with the operation of God's grace in the world. since it involves a reduction of rhetorical energy" ( Possibilities 228 ). built into his aesthetic and extends to his parodic technique. therefore. Lodge undermines the authority of his sources. as a Barthlike virtuoso peformance that serves to establish Lodge's credibility as a writer and. firemen. in this way he establishes his own authority by evidencing his technical mastery of their styles. his credibility as an individual Catholic able to make his own moral (as well as aesthetic) decisions. and voices. forms. Egbert Merrymarsh. however. as Lodge defines it. even telephone operators -anyone. Writing specifically of Wilson's novel. priests.their burlesque and mimicry include serious concerns about the form of the novel" (154) -and." Robert Burden points out that while Lodge and Angus Wilson use parody and pastiche "for comic purposes. Despite the verbal energy of the Molly Bloom-like soliloquy with which Lodge's novel concludes. it is clear that The British Museum represents how far Lodge has departed from the very tradition which Waugh. there is a decided stabilization of the text in the latter half. Bradbury makes a point that also seems to apply equally well to The British Museum: "These modes of ambiguity and distortion. in fact. The British Museum can be described. This restraint is.. husbands.

Similarly. but not one that would go quite so far as those written by the more gleefully apocalyptic -. a young Old Adam who finds that his life has been usurped. with a voice which echoes Molly Bloom's (as well at times as Adam's) but that is nonetheless her own. including the fiction of the Natural Method. They're not things you can work up much affection for" ( 70 ). it cannot solve a problem that is essentially religious rather than biological. (It was a suggestion his publisher rejected.writers of the sixties and early seventies with which Lodge was then becoming acquainted.especially American -. but is instead a dialogue of styles. The British Museum is a serious fiction about a latter-day poor forked creature.) Lodge understood what his parodic method implied and so attempted to steer a middle course. is quite unnatural.. "there's always -140 a snag perhaps that's the root of the matter there's something about sex perhaps it's original sin I don't know but we'll never get it neatly tied up you think you've got it under control in one place it pops up in another either it's comic or tragic nobody's immune" (174). sex is in fact a complicated matter. Thus it is fitting that this novel which seems to be "about" Adam Appleby should end with his wife's soliloquy. Adam says that he doesn't know. the one with which the novel concludes." As Barbara says at one point in her long sentence. as they indeed did. It ends.. Asked by some liberal Catholics what it is he wants. Yet. What the Church preaches abstractly is not what individual Catholics are able to actually practice. Each understands that while contraception may be necessary. that is.. leaving readers and. a mulligan stew.cally validates and even pays homage to them as well. Barbara's cautionary "perhaps" echoes her husband's similar uncertainty. And one hundred pages later Barbara makes precisely the same point: "there's something a bit offputting about contraceptives" (174). Similarly. they stand in opposition to what Adam at one point disparagingly refers to as the "style of highminded generality" ( 68 ). . For all its parodic humor and energy. There can be no adequate monological solutions to concrete dialogical problems. to use contraceptives. he wanted to write a comic novel about the Catholic Church's teaching on birth control that would not go so far as to actually challenge the Church's authority. The British Museum has no uniform monological style. He wanted to write a parodic novel." by fiction. Taken together or individually. which as both Adam and Barbara realize. but as Barbara points out in her soliloquy. Finding a workable sexual policy may be considerably more difficult than trying to find a workable definition of the "the long sentence. Lodge's dialogically divided attitude towards parody accounts for why on the one hand he worried that the parodies in The British Museum would alienate some readers and on the other he wanted a blurb to appear on the dust jacket alerting readers to their presence. or "annexed. Appearing twenty times in the final two pages. such a challenge to the Church's monologic authority is precisely what his parodic technique implies. both aesthetically and religiously. At that time it would have been impossible to challenge the Church in one area without challenging the Church's authority altogether. The Church reduces sex to simple monologue. reviewers free to overlook the parodies. though he does "suppose" that no one "really wants. especially. Lodge's later disclaimers notwithstanding. much to Lodge's dismay.

or actually restored -. That Lodge should. the conventionally realistic mode. Around the time he was making those changes.edition. biographical and literary -. -142completing the manuscript in 1968. "Introduction. yet at the same time disrupting it. should not be surprising. first published in 1970 and recently reissued in 1985 in a substantively revised -. with Bradbury's help. conceived before The British Museum was written (xii). necessarily signal an aesthetic retreat on Lodge's part." Out of the Shelter xvi). and then have composed a work that is "in tone and technique" ( xii ) closer to The Picturegoers and Ginger. and it does so despite the author's large . to assume a visiting professorship at the University of California at Berkeley. he was sixteen years old. Although largely based on a trip that the author made to Germany when. Out of the Shelter does look back to and "double" the past -itself double. more differences of perspective" ( Interview151). like his protagonist. -141- 8 Out of the Shelter and the Problem of Literary Recidivism THE DOUBLENESS OF Lodge's fourth novel. It is confessional in form. the archly parodic British Museum. thirteen years later. That Out of the Shelter should have more in common with Lodge's second novel (and with his first. You're Barmy. even if that form is not quite so apparent as it is in Ginger. You're Barmy than to The British Museum. The Picturegoers) than with his third. therefore. and it anticipates his second." out. he explained to John Haffenden that "if I were writing it now I would not use that restrained monotone. It was. deleted several others. I think I would have more stylistic variety. have discovered the possibilities of comic narration in the writing of his third novel. "autobiographical in origins. Lodge's career as a novelist has had a curious dialogical rhythm of its own involving the alternating publication of serious and comic works. does not. the novel bears as well the clear impress of Lodge's first trip to the United States. However. but not confessional in intent" ( ix ). Moreover. 1 is evident even in the history of its composition and publication. Out of the Shelter. after all. which he undertook shortly after ____________________ 1 In revising the badly mangled text printed by Macmillan in 1970 for the new edition to be published by Secker & Warburg ( 1985).in an aesthetically unsatisfying way. closing and so completing The British Museum. "perhaps. Lodge restored a number of passages. The novel is. opening it up and.syntactically and sexually different from all the voices that have preceded it. therefore. however. and "made many small stylistic alterations" but otherwise left the text pretty much as it was in an effort "to discover the effective version of the novel I wrote in 1967-8" ( Lodge. as Lodge has pointed out.

the aims of which ( Lodge then claimed) were "still worth pursuing" insofar as "the heightened realism" of Joyce and the other "classic modernists" had not yet been "exhausted" (quoted in Vinson401. His hand now moved freely under the light tension of her flimsy briefs. She spread her legs and his index finger slipped in like a seal into a -144- . as of bombs or guns. but sidesteps completely the issue of whether the narrative language is aesthetically effective or not. it is the "realistic truthtelling and poetic intensity" of Joyce's earlier style."arc lights fixed in the palm trees illuminated the pool. but did not penetrate its depths" (269) -. The fact that "everything is presented from [the protagonist ] Timothy's point of view. the Bildungsroman and the Jamesian international novel "of conflicting ethical and cultural values. as Lodge has said." What one finds is not the parodic play of Ulysses that Lodge adapted so effectively in The British Museum. There was a distant rumble. making the windows rattle. He ran his hand over the for the book's formidable lineage and at times equally large claims for its aesthetic merits.or. " David Lodge Interviewed" 116 ). Feeling a commotion beside him.. He scarcely dared to breathe himself. despite the book's serious subject matter. Out of the Shelter merges two literary forms. kick. The sound barrier. and the blue jeans flew off her brown legs. he opened his eyes and he saw Gloria arch her back.. instead. springy nest of hair. it is clearly Joyce's influence that is by far the more pervasive and that accounts for the novel's being so "fully achieved." (Interview with Haffenden151). Lodge may have been correct. As Lodge has noted. "the most inclusive and most fully achieved" of his first three "serious" novels that it satisfies so little (quoted in Vinson401). and reached a moist crevice. but narrated by a 'covert' authorial voice that articulates his adolescent sensibility with a slightly more eloquent and mature style than Timothy would have commanded" ( Introduction xvi ). Moreover. there is even a certain irony in the fact that Lodge should have written this novel of "personal liberation" in so shackled and disabling a style. Of the two. Much of the prose Lodge wrote ostensibly in imitation and extension of Joyce's early style only seems either to fall flat -. Ironically. He heard her breathing quickly beside him. to parody it in unintentionally comic fashion: A squadron of jets suddenly screamed overhead. He shut his eyes again. it may be because the book is. -143and added effect) ( "Introduction" ix ). in the form of a Bildungsroman: it didn't quite come off. but Out of the Shelter does not support his claim of continued viablity. describes rather well how the story is narrated." 2 and has as "its most obvious literary models" Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and James's The Ambassadors (with touches of The Dubliners and What Maisie Knew thrown in for good measure ____________________ 2 "I tried to write a really ambitious socio-cultural novel.

with a character's (or.and such a book -. This is not to say that the novel does not seem to posit certain simple oppositions. but one that separated those who had experienced the war from those who had not ( "Introduction" x ). but his vision is invariably obscured in various ways. Coming out of his various literal and figurative shelters. slithering against the slippery walls. "Ever since he [ Timothy ] had come out from England it seemed to him that he had been looking down from heights. The bomb smoke . even a word's) being poised between two worlds. What saves such a passage -. the sixteen-year-old hero of Lodge's portrait of the specialist in "planning blight" as a young man has his obligatory epiphany and. Leaving the shelter of his family and country for the first time. a generation gap.rock pool. after -145all. chooses to lay "his unshriven soul as a gift at Gloria's feet" (248). Timothy enters a world that is not only new and different. Shaking his father's hand becomes not a sign of emotional attachment but instead is "like casting off a rope that had held him for a long time in safe anchorage" ( 67 ). and the choices are dialogically presented rather than monologically distinct. two meanings. If in The British Museum Lodge's parodic technique tends both to undermine the authority of his sources and yet paradoxically to validate them as well. If the novel succeeds at all. deciding not to rush immediately from adolescent sex to Catholic confession. This is his preoccupation with verges and transitions of all kinds. like a rejected gift. socially. his climax over. it does so not in its imitation of Joyce's verbal mannerisms but in the way it reflects quite another feature of Joyce's (and Lodge's) writing. (240) Whether this is "heightened realism" or merely heightened rhetoric hardly seems in doubt. still holding outstretched. The novel necessarily involves. the Lyons' Individual Fruit Pie" ( 72 ). then the language of Lodge's fourth novel works in a similar fashion. an epistemological doubling: Timothy comes out of the shelter. a work which is set in a period of (as Lodge saw it) "crucial transition" from "austerity" to "affluence." and which grew out of the author's conviction that there indeed was. disappointment lining her face. and sexually ambiguous. for there was a strange smell of shrimps in the room. religiously. and not especially effective. presumably into the clarifying light. like Jesus in the Bible" ( 150 ). then. culturally. so that in large measure the novel becomes not the work of "heightened realism" that Lodge intended but (to borrow a line from Barth's "Lost in the Funhouse") yet another. from the departing train. It is. least of all when. "That was the last view he had of his mother: standing on the platform. but geographically. being shown the kingdoms of the world. two sets of values. story about a sensitive adolescent. Timothy is struck by what he assumes is the completeness of the separation. and he thought he must be losing his senses. though in the reverse direction. in the later works. as the Sixties' Youth Culture insisted. gasping for breath. fluttering like a shrimp under bare toes at low tide. that Timothy (as well as the reader) is given more than one world from which to choose. It undermines even as the author seeks to validate and extend. And his final glimpse of his mother. and touching something that quivered and contracted. provides a perfect if pathetic image of just what he is leaving behind.

makes a similar point. England means shortages. As Timothy himself realizes (in sentences that reflect in their very syntax the workings of his dialogical mind and Lodge's equally dialogical novel). while German Heidelberg prospers. just as the voices of Don. and almost simultane-146ously." But as Don Kowalski. privation.enviable and ridiculous. one of Timothy's unofficial mentors.. drabness. etc. as absurd and exciting -. as the center of the American occupation forces.. represents abundance. The revised version reads: "He had added to his experience lately. whereas Heidelberg. The starkest of these are geographical and cultural. and the narrowness of lower-middle-class Anglo-Catholicism.. We want fun and companionship without emotional involvement. male and female... she says. secular and spiritual. or. However. -147ple like Kate stay in Heidelberg but with alternative courses to follow in his own life. Kate and Don provide Timothy not only with alternative explanations as to why peo____________________ 3 Lodge. and Kate's friends intersect yet remain distinct in the reader's mind. But it can't go on for ever" (167). and he was not equal to that. psychological. play. Timothy's parents. as she would prefer. war and peace.".) What she and the other nonGermans in Heidelberg have in common. The ambiguity is further complicated by the fact that Timothy is himself double: on the one hand he wants to experience the world and on the other he is another of Lodge's voyeurs who prefer to live their lives vicariously.that prevents his seeing the deaths of his playmate Jill and her mother near the beginning of the novel is the first of several physical. though from a quite different point of view. explains. but the additions were abysses concealing more than they revealed.. He could convert it into something positively exciting only by grasping its opportunities. sameness. Out of the Shelter ( London: Macmillan. but as regards sex the additions were abysses concealing more than they revealed" ( 139 ). Heidelberg too is a kind of shelter. is that "we want to forget. Kate. confinement. And we do have a lot of fun. freedom. is one of the signs in this novel that things are not necessarily as one might expect them to be "out of the shelter. and a certain secular expansiveness.. without the risk of getting hurt again. That England should continue to suffer economically even though it won the war. 1970) 145. and cultural barriers to Timothy's actually achieving that clarity of vision that the novel's title seems to imply. "there was something deeply ambiguous about his situation -he could see it alternately... adolescence and adulthood. the poetic and the prosaic. Timothy's sister. "full of people who don't want to go home" ( 87 ). can't go home again.. Kate.. variety.. color. We want to live in the present. so in a similar fashion does Lodge suggest that . work. (She is one of those who won't. 3 Out of the Shelter is a novel of seeming contrasts -.childhood and adolescence. He had added to his experiences lately.

also characteristically. like indulgences. but one in which the voices merge and the spirit is hardly allowed an unequivocal triumph. open up the hotels and restaurants and the sights and the casinos -. Lodge thus insists upon the presence of the past. on the ways in which it both hinders and helps his characters. Timothy makes a second whose shadow the contemporary writer self-consciously seeks to find his own distinctive voice. The mingling of the sacred and the profane is evident in the phrase. being. "it was as if Kate were accumulating invisible credits. It is also a variation on the theme and structure of that traditional religious subgenre. The only people with no currency problems. no . To her family. can only contemplate and even then only in the most general terms. confessional in form. I noted earlier that the novel is. the modernist literary tradition -. The ambiguity of her character and the ambivalence of her family's response to her evidences itself throughout the novel and is distilled in lines such as.or Kath. But when they go swimming.not Don's. self-confident. "credits.Barthelme's Dead Father -. for example. as he is. or Joyce's. And he insists too on their doubleness and upon the similarity or interpenetration of seeming opposites.began to crawl out of their cellars. their pasts continue to haunt them: individual family backgrounds." 4 a description which neatly combines the financial and religious preoccupations of Timothy's lowermiddle-class Catholic family. he causes ____________________ 4 Out of the Shelter ( 1970) 41 . Don articulates in characteristically dogmatic fashion what Timothy. or Kate's. no passport problems. like at once a fairy godmother and a fallen woman." an appetite which "affronted his deepest [Anglo-Catholic] instincts and principles" (151). -148the novel's characters and their beliefs to alternately merge and separate. As Don sees it. he sees in her heavy thighs evidence of "the old fat Kath that she [ Kate ] normally concealed under her skirts" ( 129 )." quoted above and more especially in the fact that Timothy is simultaneously attracted to and appalled by Kate's friends' "insatiable appetite for diversion. the dialogue between the flesh and the spirit. entirely devoid of a necessary grounding in historical fact. rebuild their cities. clear away the rubble. the world war. for this "Kate" is poised. In addition. original sin. Creating contrasts and parallels at every turn of the narrative.there is no one voice and no one course of action for Timothy (or the reader or the writer for that matter) to follow -. Individual characters are presented in a similarly ambiguous manner. Kate's friends are nothing more than well-heeled "camp-followers": "Just when the Germans -and not just the Germans -. Kate -. in a sense. This is the residue of the past that neither Kate nor any of the other characters can ever escape entirely. the Kate that Timothy visits in Heidelberg is quite unlike the Kath he knew in England. For better or worse. to come in and out of focus. on which the rest of the family could draw. even attractive. as they refer to her -.they happened to be the only people around with enough money to take advantage of it.

therefore. His preference -149for "sackcloth and ashes" and the old-fashioned amateur approach still followed at the London School of Economics. as a descendent of Polish Jews. "that was the trouble with Don's company was something of a strain. chooses to step westward into the future (the United States). for example. however. Timothy is right. who is "sort of Jewish. Nonetheless." deals with the period from 1940 (the year of the London Blitz. Moreover. As Timothy comes to realize. from fifty-one to sixty-one and finally to 139 pages. with one exception. sackcloth and ashes seem more appropriate than Waikiki shirts" (152. Structurally the novel is divided into three numbered and titled parts.. His "sackcloth and ashes" frame of mind leads him. It is. Part One. asks her what it is like to be a Jew living in postwar. an examination may be exactly what he needs. although it is true that Don greatly extends Timothy's critical awareness of society and history. the narration tends to be more or less uniform in style (less so in the first). but between them it is subtly different. intuiting what she feels is the used-upness of both the past ( England) and the present (Heidelberg).) Like so much in this novel. he also draws Timothy back in time and place. postAuschwitz Europe. where he hopes to do graduate work. even though he can spot this flaw in Don's character. like taking an examination all the time" ( 155 ).. Each of these parts is further -150divided into three numbered (but untitled) sections that are. when . Don's critical and irreverent attitude towards the war in general and the Allied victory in particular is merited and. difficult for the reader to know exactly how to respond to Don. Within each of the three major parts. a useful corrective to his uninformed chauvinism. when you think of what happened in Europe only a few years ago. and something similar causes this typically rootless American to want to study at the London School of Economics. Moreover. the Joycean differences reflecting changes in Timothy's (like Stephen Dedalus's) maturing mode of perceiving his changing world. Don's language here and elsewhere in the novel is excessive. again further divided into anywhere from four to twenty-one unnumbered and untitled subsections of varying lengths (from one page to twenty-eight)." Timothy. interested in sex. he cannot make himself immune to it. who seems to invite both approval and dismissal. sounding like Don's echo. to want to visit Auschwitz. plus a nine-page epilogue. but since Timothy also confuses Auschwitz with Austerlitz. echoes Timothy's own English provincialism and Anglo-Catholic morality. Their restlessness contributes to Timothy's uncertainty (he is "sort of half-way") and to the reader's as well in a novel which not only blurs distinctions but follows a course that both invites (insofar as it moves through time in a straightforward manner) and disrupts the reader's passive problems. Kate on the other hand. "The Shelter. he is no less improvident with his moral pronouncements than Kate's friends are with their money. Don's moral concern is at once persuasive and excessive. After going to bed with Gloria Rose. not questions of religious identity and national guilt.153 ). for Timothy. ( Gloria is. The three parts progessively increase in length.

Timothy is five) to 1949. Though chronologically arranged, the narrative is not actually continuous. It leaps from event to event, following (especially in its first half) what a child might remember of the war and written in a style that reflects a child's (and later an adolescent's) efforts to make sense of what he doesn't understand based upon what little knowledge he has acquired up to that point. It begins, "almost the first thing he could remember was his mother standing on a stool in the kitchen, piling tins of food into the top cupboard," followed by the child's query, "what are all those tins for?" ( 3 ). And it ends, appropriately enough, with what might most profitably be thought of as a narrative palimpsest. Sitting on the beach, Timothy recalls Arnold's poem, "Dover Beach," and more especially the essay he wrote about it for his mock O-level exams. As Timothy begins mentally to revise his essay, the reader becomes aware in this single narrative moment of the existence of two Timothy's, one past and the other present, psychologically distinct yet narratively coeval. Though longer by some ten pages, the novel's Part Two, "Coming Out," deals with a much shorter chronological period, covering just the time it takes Timothy to travel by train from London to Heidelberg and his first day and night in this Americanized German city. (There is also, near the beginning, a flashback to the events leading to Kate's invitation and Timothy's acceptance.) -151At the beginning of the novel, Lodge moves abruptly from scene to scene but nonetheless manages to achieve a certain degree of narrative continuity based upon the recounting of significant events in a child's life: his perception of these events and his efforts to understand them in the light of his very limited knowledge. The temporal and spatial restrictions of Part Two, on the other hand, are reflected in this section's high degree of narrative continuity. The average length of the ten subsections is 6.1 pages, twice that of either Part One (2.68 pages) or Part Three (3.3 pages). The narrative situation and strategy changes radically in Part Three, "Out of the Shelter," which is set in Heidelberg but which involves numerous geographical, political, theological, psychological, and narrative side trips -- as well as side narratives -- taken during Timothy's four-week stay. More importantly, the narrative here includes numerous abrupt crosscuts that do more than merely disrupt the narrative flow, for they involve parallel scenes, each serving as an alternative to the other, dialogically qualifying but never monologically cancelling out the other. The result is another kind of narrative palimpsest in which different views and judgments come into conflict in Timothy's and the reader's minds without ever being resolved. Although the subject matter of some of these scenes is undoubtedly overdrawn, the "heightened realism" taking a bathetic pratfall, the technique itself is less obtrusive and far more effective. It enables Lodge not simply to recount but actually to recreate for the reader Timothy's own sense of epistemological uncertainty. Such uncertainty is decidedly at odds with what the novel's title and epilogue seem to imply: development ending in closure. Like the conclusions of so many nineteenth century novels, Lodge's epilogue serves to round off the story for the reader (and perhaps the author as well) who craves the traditional narrative comfort of knowing how it all turned out. Timothy, now thirty years

old, has received a fellowship to study in the United States where he, along with his wife Sheila and their -152children, pays a brief visit to Kate, now a resident of California. Timothy has done rather 7well -- not as well as he would like, but better certainly than Don (divorced) or Kate's Heidelberg friends Vince and Greg (disgraced) or his parents ("growing dully old") or Jill (dead) or Kate who, though she has returned to the Church, remains vaguely dissatisfied. The novel does not end, however, with the hero's relative triumph, freedom, and happiness. Instead, as Timothy joins his wife in the motel pool, "it came on him again -the familiar fear that he could never entirely eradicate, that this happiness was only a ripening target for fate; that somewhere, around the corner, some disaster awaited him, as he blithely approached" (270). It is of more than passing interest that Lodge makes precisely the same point in The British Museum, where, of course, it is rendered in the style of deadpan humor: "Catholics are brought up to expect sudden extinction round every corner and to keep their souls highly polished at all times" ( 65 ). Whether the reader of Lodge's novels is to understand the feeling shared by Adam Appleby and Timothy Young as the comic residue of their Catholic upbringing or as a tragic fact of human existence is necessarily and dialogically left uncertain. What is certain is that unlike Stephen Dedalus, Timothy cannot proudly and defiantly -- and pompously -proclaim, "I go to encounter for the millionth time the reality of experience and to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race" (253). He can only, and desperately, cry out his wife's name, seeking in her what he had earlier hoped to escape, the need for shelter. His need takes on added urgency given the fact that Kate's dissatisfaction is due, at least in part, to her not having married (the sexual and emotional counterpart of her self-imposed geographical exile from Britain and her parents). Timothy's "Sheila!" concludes the novel but does not quite complete it. His crying out in the California desert exists not as a merely climactic narrative act but in contrast with the point Timothy makes just a few pages/moments before to Kate: "you -153can be so grateful for being where you are that you don't want to move on, in case things get worse. I recognize that tendency in myself" (265). The contrast here in the epilogue between Timothy's desire for motion and change and his need for stasis and stability reenacts -- or re-voices -- the similarly dialogical endings of the novel's first two parts. In the first-and the more effective of the two, discussed briefly above -- Timothy recalls Arnold's "Dover Beach" and, almost immediately, his own essay about it, and this in turn leads him to reconsider the poem and to revise his essay mentally. Even as he moves ahead, refining his reading with his more mature insights, he moves back as well, not only to his original understanding -- or misunderstanding -- of Arnold's lines but even further back to the war, until finally, "alone in the shelter, under cover of night, safe from observation, Timothy lapsed into a heroic dream of his childhood" ( 52 ). The play of contending forces -- past and present, childhood and adolescence -- is rendered so that

each has its own distinctive voice. (And the same is true in the epilogue where Timothyspeaks reasonably of his need to forge ahead and later cries out emotionally when beset by "the familiar fear he could never entirely eradicate.") Though twenty-five years older than at the beginning of the novel, Timothy still faces essentially the same dilemma. He remains discontented not because he has failed to mature but because the process of "coming out of the shelter" and coming "out of [one's] shell" (265) is, as Lodge defines it, continual. His desire for shelter and his counter desire for freedom cannot be reconciled, only dialogized. 5 Timothy's situation is thus analogous to that of the novelist, again as Lodge has defined it. The writer's freedom to invent is limited by the closed universe of ____________________ 5 According to Lodge, the epilogue was not intended to show any disillusionment, only that Timothy has been lucky and that he possesses "a temperamental cautiousness which holds him back" ( Interview with Haffenden 151 ). -154the narrative continuum having realism and metonymy at one end and fabulism and metaphor at the other. The essentially spatial form of Lodge's seemingly, or deceptively, linear novel implies a similar limitation, leading the reader back and forth rather than (simply) ahead. And Lodge has managed to "cautiously" advance his career as a novelist in a similar manner, for the writing of Out of the Shelter resulted in a moving forward that was itself the result of a looking back to James/Joyce and the high seriousness of his first two novels. -155-

Changing Places: Narrative Doublings Redux
AS WE HAVE seen, structural, thematic, and even syntactical doublings have played a prominent part in Lodge's early writings. In his fifth novel, Changing Places, Lodge goes much further. He raises doubling more directly to the novel's textual surface in order to ironize it and thereby to gain the necessary level of dialogic detachment that was so largely absent from Out of the Shelter, where Lodge's efforts to validate and extend Joyce's style of "heightened realism" chiefly served only to undermine Lodge's own achievement. This is not to say that Out of the Shelter was by any means a wasted literary effort; the novel is significant if not entirely successful for both the reasons discussed in the previous chapter and for the fact that writing so limited and limiting a novel seems to have freed Lodge to write Changing Places. 1 . At the end of Out of the Shelter, Timothy Young, now thirty, arrives in the United States and immediately begins to experience its liberating effect. At the beginning of Changing Places,

four of them on Jane Austen. and academically distinguished -.or mare's nest -. But his story is duplicated by that of Morris Zapp.of comic improbabilities that lead to this emancipation. Zapp has become more cautious. 2 This is also how Philip Swallow would begin his critical essays. the other half of Lodge's narrative exchange program. I believe. Swallow is "a mimetic man" ( 10 ): unsure. apocalyptic. sees in the State University of Euphoria (Euphoric State) and the neighboring ____________________ 2 See. he finds the way to turn the lessons learned in the writing of his two most Joycean . is more Zappian in both its reach (towards "a comprehensive typology of literary discourse") and to some extent its language as well. if he wrote any. utterly unZappian desire to save his marriage. Zapp is Jewish. It is not will and ambition that drive Zapp to spend a semester at the academic wasteland of the University of Rummidge. He wants to give his stridently feminist wife. and while it would be of some interest to trace the sequence -. As birdlike and as seemingly shallow as his name suggests. Eventually Swallow does come to feel freer and more confident. The Novelist at the Crossroads ( 1971). Utterly unknown and undistinguished. of considerably less importance than the way in which Lodge renders Swallow's liberation linguistically. it seems. -157Borgesian city of Esseph across the bay a chance to regain the paradise he and his wife Hilary briefly had on their honeymoon in that same area. however. his going to the United States entails leaving his wife and daughter behind. whose marriage is as moribund sexually as he is professionally. Desiree. on the other hand. Zapp hates (and so likes to "zap") all other critics. but the seemingly Swallowian. Even caricatures. However. also forty.____________________ 1 "I don't think I made it as a writer until Changing Places" ( Interview with Haffenden150) -156it is forty-year-old Philip Swallow who plays the part of the English sojourner. he lacks completely what the comic book super-critic Zapp possesses so excessively: will and ambition. Swallow. infinitely suggestible. especially those who tolerate "opinions contrary to their own" and who begin their essays with a humble "I want to raise some questions about so-and-so" ( 45 ). eager to please. Lodge's deliberately coincidental plot is.a full professor at the State University of Euphoria in Plotinus ( Lodge's funhouse reflection of Berkeley) and the author of five books. In effect. time to reconsider the divorce that she craves and he fears. as the tolerant David Lodge often has begun his essays. arrogant. Lodge's next critical book. can have their humanities. The Modes of Modern Writing ( 1977). which he doesn't. he will also come to experience the paradise lost of guilt since. for example. like James Walker in Stepping Westward. ironically so given the rationale behind his now abandoned Austen project: to exhaust the interpretive possibilities. Having achieved everything he wanted professionally.

arrogant American. but that's another story. Changing Places is a novel that begins as a more or less conventional realistic comedy -a campus novel -.novels. to his own novelistic advantage. Similarly and more subtly. now that the academic exchange has become a sexual exchange as well. deep down. the anticipation of sexual adventure. as the novel itself does. But they also serve a distinctly postmodern purpose insofar as each voice not only changes but becomes. ( 32 ) More interesting are the twenty pages devoted to Swallow's wholly mental efforts to draft a letter to Hilary explaining his affair with Zapp's wife. The novel's linguistic distinctions are most obvious when the voices speak directly and in a syntactically and/or thematically parallel way: the Euphoric change places. Swallow. English self. at the root of his present jubilation. for example.. however. His unconscious may have been otherwise occupied. one indictment at a time. displaced form of pastoral. sounds British.. Write On171). But slowly the voices (including the narrator's) begin to change -. But.. for example. no rumour of it has reached Philip's ego. never occurred to his [ Swallow's] conscious. the prose used to record Swallow's and Zapp's thoughts mimics their respective styles of thinking and in this way reflects Lodge's view that thinking is essentially a verbal activity: Such ideas. If this is the case.the narrator's as well as each of the characters -.are rendered stably and record or mirror changes in the character's character. please). as in Bradbury's The History Man. 3 At the beginning. The British Museum Is Falling Down and Out of the Shelter. The italicized mental-letter passages comprise just two of the twenty pages but serve a number of narrative purposes: to allow the husband to . the various voices -. Admittedly.but that quickly develops into something quite different and quite effective. That is why it belongs to the literature of escape" ( Lodge. and he made an honest woman of her (she divorced him three years later. and perhaps. demand ____________________ 3 "Essentially the campus novel is a modern. there is. even seemingly neutral descriptive prose can subtly slip its linguistic moorings and take on (in ironic fashion) the colors of its linguistic environment: "The Black Pantheress was explaining to a caller [on a late-night radio talk show] the application of Marxist-Leninist revolutionary theory to the situation of oppressed racial minorities in a late stage of industrial capitalism" ( 103 ). deep. ( 28 ) Why should he [ Zapp ] suffer with all these careless callous women? He has knocked up a girl only once in his life. these changes serve a decidedly realistic purpose -. -158that their audience "Defend the Garden!" (based on Berkeley's People's Park) whereas the radicalized but nonetheless still sedate Rummidge students politely ask that their audience "Support the Occupation" ( 158 ). that is. and Zapp sounds like a loud. a pastiche of various parodically rendered voices.

the old Adam from which he will never be entirely free anymore than he will actually post or even write his letter.understood its prodigality and indecorum.." (195. mouth-shaped bruise" (193194). He understood American Literature for the first time. hippies and junkies.." At this point. Although Whitman frees Swallow to at least complete his letter to Hilary in a page-long burst of automatic mental writing. live all you can" and the young man able to take advantage of that knowledge...understood Mark Twain. to permit Lodge to flash back to events related to Swallow's adultery that have not yet been narrated. earlier Swallow. given a dark twist in How Far Can You . kaftans and saris. His subsequent thoughts eventually lead him out of his usual maze of uncertainty and indecisiveness to the climactic scene in which Swallow.. ellipses mine). "stiff": "It all started. The linguistic alternations reflect Swallow's comic situation. His revelation takes the form of yet another of Whitman's syntactically parallel catalogues: "He thought of [ Henry ] Jame s. one in which even informality sounds oddly formal and.." blacks and whites. buttocks and breasts. to enable Lodge to parody the flashback technique and the epistolary novels in which it is -159used.. Swallow is swept back into the Whitmanic flow once more and the meaning of American literature is suddenly revealed to him.. Zapp and I had been invited to the same party again. James to Whitman) that he is both Lambert Strether and Little his wife. I contain multitudes. and finally but perhaps most interestingly to allow Lodge to double Swallow's mental voice (itself the double of his speaking voice).. however. the prose he uses recalls that other. all ending with a lyrical paean to a girl "dressed in a crotch-high mini with long bare white legs and high up one thigh a perfect. a Whitmanic catalogue of "young bearded Jesuses and their barefoot Magdalenes... I contradict myself.. as Daisy Miller would say.." absorbing the world and letting it back out again in a threehundred-word sentence-long paragraph. "Do I contradict myself?" Whitman asked.and why Stephen Crane. and she offered me a lift home. both the old man who learns too late "to live. while sitting in a cafe. "Very well then. to think that Swallow simply and merely moves ahead. on the night of the landslide.. Swallow interrupts his song of himself and the open road only long enough to invoke Henry James and decide (adding epiphany to epiphany.explain himself -.. Mrs. but they also serve to remind the reader of Lodge's parallel belief in literature as an essentially closed system in which Bradburyan "possibilities" are rendered as narrative permutations to be exploited comically in works such as Changing Places and.. It would be wrong.. you see. either psychologically or linguistically. understood Walt Whitman. as we shall see. gazes out at passing humanity (in its California version) and becomes Whitman's "fluid and swallowing soul.and -160what Gertrude Stein. because there was a kind of tropical storm" (178).. His Whitmanic cadences (and revelations) do not in fact replace his earlier British rhythms (and ideas) but instead alternate with them. There is the voice that is a verbal caricature of British reserve..or rather his adulterous self -..and Herman Melville. He thought of Henry Miller.

he has. etc. the fallen woman. of course. that curious British piece of hermaphroditic technology. distanced. not merely to echo and repeat but to renew -. if I'm not mistaken. for example. the snow. exhaustion. whether great or small. part escalator. rhetorical. as its title suggests. and film. of this being a scene from a film and that "from a Victorian novel. Whitman. Joyce.. Jules Feiffer adult version: Swallow. continues to compose his mental letter to Hilary. Zapp (the academic turned Marx Brother) and Gordon Masters ( a department head turned madman) go up and down on a paternoster. narrative language is similarly relativized on all levels. or oscillate. but in reverse. On the one hand. which appears briefly.' " Sy Gootblatt whispers. Crumb. Shakespeare. Swallow's alternations represent in miniature the structure. But the parallel here may be a bit misleading. " 'But I think you're having an erection and it doesn't look nice at a vigil'" (192). scholarly. James. conditional. Morte D'Arthur. it may be said that Lodge's entire method in Changing Places is. which is to say. singing "pastiches of recordings" by Joan Baez. Rather. while taking part in a departmental vigil to protest the presence of armed police on campus. both artistic (inserted short stories. achieving at best a relative and decidedly problematic freedom." including the group they most clearly imitate.. in its sixties R. etc.) Lodge's narrative method is certainly in keeping with Bakhtin's definition of the novel as a metagenre: "The novel permits the incorporation of various genres.Go? These are the necessary boundaries within which both characters and author must operate. Milton. and a host of other literary masters all have their Whitmanic parts to play. In Changing Places. because she was coming in instead of going out" ( 139 ). The literary echoings in Changing Places extend much further. and method of the entire novel. Peter. on the level of narrative grammar. along with the unwary reader. Austen. part elevator. however. as Morte D'Arthur surely is. And. dramatic scenes. Lodge even includes a cartoon strip. including the structural.. 323).not these specific voices and forms.. [in order to achieve] a relativizing of linguistic consciousness" ( Dialogic320. religious genres and others). poems. -162- . lyrical songs. but the voice and form of fiction in an age of fabulism. rhythm. Even the characters become aware of the literary correspondences. and other "folk singers. All these forms permit languages to be used in ways that are indirect.. " 'Excuse me. (Indeed. a narrative flashback that ends with his recalling the circumstances that led up to his making love to Desiree for the first time. They can be found as well in even more condensed form in the Rummidge folk group. Judy Collins. Phil. Paul and Mary. There is even a two-page/ two-paragraph sequence reminiscent of silent film comedies in which.) and extra-artistic (everyday. -161to include late-night radio talk shows and the "split screen" technique of film and television. in one of the novel's many cases of misunderstanding and mistaken identity. one of reversals of various kinds. it incorporates into itself the various voices and forms it imitates. for Changing Places is not merely an imitation..

If." is quite unlike the previous two. The twenty-one letters and one telegram in the thirty-eight pages of Chapter 3 and the twentynine assorted items in the fourteen pages of Chapter 4 follow what the reader assumes to be a chronological order that is disrupted typographically by the blank spaces and narratively by the absence of transitions between the items. or altitude. whether intentional or not. "Corresponding. Chapter 4 is a Ulysses-like collection of newspaper items. it is Swallow who receives more of the narrator's and therefore the reader's time.112 pages. Lodge follows Melville's example. in the concluding chapter. the most continuous single story -." "Changing.the novel may be said to follow the linear plot of conventional fiction. to which Lodge adds the three drafts of Swallow's mental letter to his wife. And the sense of narrative continuity is heightened.not only serve to develop the novel's linear progression. Not content to narrate Zapp's and Swallow's stories in merely parallel fashion. of the first two chapters. This strategy. the novel's six chapters -. -163roughly half the novel's entire length -." for example. breaks down. thus creating the highest degree of narrative continuity-that is to say. to which the reader has just accustomed himself. however." "Ending" -. for the first two chapters -. Lodge runs them together as best he can in the absence of the film director's split screen and short of resorting to Derrida's doubling of columns in Glas or Nabokov's coupling of text and commentary in Pale Fire. which often appear several to a page. "Flying" and "Settling. Within the confines of his more limited though still transatlantic world. The first two chapters.the story alternates between Zapp and Swallow. student manifestos. The pattern changes once again in Chapter 5. and printed handouts. On the other hand." " this otherwise highly discontinuous yet nonetheless highly readable novel. allows the text to compensate for Zapp's being otherwise so dominant a character. All six chapters are told from what is identified early in the novel as "our privileged narrative altitude" ( 8 ) -a phrase which immediately puts the novel into postmodern dialogue with the literary tradition. Chapter 5 returns the novel to the narrative mode. epistolary in form. both physically and intellectually."Flying. Thus. (Here and throughout the novel as a whole.) In the next two chapters this pattern. however. this narrative altitude will vary during the course of the novel. as Swallow realizes in his moment of Whitmanic revelation.will to power and inclusiveness. or at least prolonged. then Lodge's achievement is similar even if it lacks Melville's Ahabian -. news releases. Melville's great achievement was his "split[ting] the atom of the traditional novel in an effort to make whaling a universal metaphor" (195). "Changing. for Lodge's ending takes the form of a filmscript. splitting and then splicing as he goes. which brings together for the first time all four of the principal characters in narrative . from beginning to middle to end. it is made up entirely of letters written by the four principal characters. But Chapter 6 disrupts the text yet again." "Settling. they disrupt and impede it as well. are more or less conventional in form and stable in narrative structure.or Zappian -. Chapter 3. As with a plane in flight. flysheets. consistently and fairly evenly." "Reading." where the first three untitled and unnumbered sections are devoted to Swallow (thirty-three and one-half pages) and the next five sections (thirty-six pages) to Zapp.

and structural levels all either concern or involve disruptions of one kind or another. therefore. from the "time slips" that Zapp experiences ( 127 ) to the uncertainty Swallow suddenly feels as student strikes disrupt his teaching and the very words he uses begin to take on strange new meanings ( "Black." Lodge writes early in the novel.grows out of the artful fragmentation of its parts. of an altitudinous author. And he even finds a character's comments on Beamish's recommendations. The entire novel may be said to function as a largescale narrative paradox. the novel's wholeness -. and literary forms. though this continuity is again disrupted by the mode of narration: filmscript. As Zapp's pious (as well as hypocritical) landlord claims.or. It is entirely appropriate. published in 1927. No longer content to stand apart from his creation. "What a funny little book it is. the reader suspects. The novel's thematic. advising the would-be novelist to avoid flashbacks. and they reflect the larger rhythmical opposition from which the -165novel's unity may be said to derive. but surely nobody's done that since the eighteenth century?" ( 130 ). paring his fingernails.time and space.its aesthetic integrity -. a literary e pluribus unum.""There's a whole chapter on how to write an epistolary novel. Lodge inserts himself into his story just as he repeatedly inserts a variety of carnivalized voices. end happily. At every level and seemingly at every narrative turn." Hilary writes in Chapter 3. That Zapp has "periods of confidence and pleasure punctuated by spasms of panic and emptiness" is mirrored in another character's having "a pathological urge to succeed and a pathological fear of being thought uncultured. "Corresponding. Lodge might not have felt compelled to disrupt his transatlantic jet-age narrative or to undermine the realistic illusion that plays so vital a part in more conventional fiction by dropping into his narrative and -164onto the roof of Zapp's boardinghouse a gratuitous block of frozen urine from a passing airliner. In an age of leisurely transportation and equally leisurely narration. linguistic. because he could succeed in the game only by exposing a gap in his culture" ( 135 )." for example). holding together by breaking apart. and this game [ Swallow's 'Humiliation'] set his two obsessions at war with each other. etc. The repetition of lines such as "at exactly the same moment" or Swallow's reading the same newspaper item on page 172 that the reader has . Changing Places reflects a modern skepticism and instability. "And in an age of more leisurely transportation. Zapp and Swallow might have gestured to one another as they crossed paths by ship or train ( 7 ). Among them the reader finds excerpts from Beamish's Let's Write a Novel. Yet because the various disruptions reflect and reinforce each other. while the planes in which his twin protagonists crisscross high above the North Pole. "some people might say it was an act of God" ( 166 ) -. that in such a novel simple repetitions should serve both to unify and to disrupt insofar as they remind the reader of the novel's arbitrary ontological status as well as its problematic but still existent relationship with reality. languages.

already read on page 166 disturb the reader far more than they comfort him, providing as they do additional evidence of the duplicity of "this duplex chronicle" (7). Changing Places is "duplex," then, in a multiplicity of ways: in terms of its language, plot, structure, and of course characterization, with Zapp and Swallow "mirror[ing] each other's experiences in certain respects" and "exert[ing] a reciprocal influence on each other's destinies" (8). 4 And the novel is duplex in the additional sense that it duplicates, or parodies, the international novel of James (and Bradbury), the epistolary novel, and the other literary and subliterary forms already mentioned. In fact, the very word "duplex," as Lodge defines it, is itself duplex, meaning "twofold," but also referring "in the jargon of electrical telegraphy to 'systems' in which messages are sent simultaneously in opposite directions" ( 7 - 8 ). This second part of Lodge's definition applies clearly and readily to the ways in which Zapp and Swallow influence each other's destinies, but it applies equally well, if less overtly, I believe, to the way in which Changing Places dialogizes two novelistic traditions and two narrative styles. "When I read most American novelists," Lodge commented in 1970, shortly after completing his fourth novel, Out of the Shelter, and shortly before beginning his fifth, Changing Places, "they seem to be ____________________ 4 "I tend to balance things against each other; my novels tend towards binary structures -- with, for example, opposite characters-and they very much leave the reader to make up his own mind" (Interview with Haffenden 152 ). -166rather battering me over the head, flexing their verbal muscles, and so on. All the linguistic energy going on is designed to impress you and works for a very powerful rhetoric. The English writer, though, is trying to get you into a conversation and starting to work on you rhetorically without your knowing it" (quoted in Honan, "Symposium"205). This is what Joyce does in Dubliners and in Portrait; it is what Lodge sought to do in Out of the Shelter, but he failed, at least to the extent that the novel attracted few readers and still fewer reviewers and so, beginning no "conversation," necessarily ended in monologue. But Changing Places is different. Written in part about and in even larger part in the wake of his "fairly euphoric" year at Berkeley, and dedicated to a number of West Coast friends, including Leonard Michaels, Changing Places reflects essentially the same concerns and ambivalence as he later voiced in an essay entitled "Where It's At: The Poetry of Psychobabble" ( Working with Structuralism 188 -196) in which he points to the way in which the absurdities of West Coast language reflect the absurdities of West Coast life (or "lifestyle"). But even as he points to these absurdities, Lodge acknowledges the appealing and liberating vitality of that language and that life. In Changing Places, Lodge does more than simply acknowledge that vitality; he converts it into effective narrative art. Zapp embodies this appealing verbal energy, and it is for this reason (along with his physical bulk) that he appears as vividly and strongly in the novel as Swallow, who receives a good deal more of the author's, and therefore the reader's, attention. Although

(as I pointed out earlier) Zapp scorns Lodge's critical style, he nonetheless shares many of Lodge's own critical beliefs -- beliefs that for all his verbal energy Zapp tends to reduce to monologue: "In Morris Zapp's view, the root of all critical error was a naive confusion of literature with life. Life was transparent, literature opaque. Life was an open, literature a closed system.... Life was what it appeared to be about.... Literature was never what it appeared to be about, -167though in the case of the novel considerable ingenuity and perception were needed to crack the code of realistic illusion" ( 47 - 48 ). The hard and fast opposition between life and literature that Zapp propounds is at odds with the structuralist and postmodernist view that a similar grammar underlies both and that human behavior can generally be understood, or read, as literature and interpreted according to the conventions of literary criticism. At the very least, the novel draws parallels between the two. Hilary tells Zapp that their affair has been "just an episode" (233), Zapp considers taking the offer of the chairmanship at Rummidge as a way to resolve the directionless plot his life has become (234), and Swallow experiences firsthand the way in which art impinges upon life. "I was sitting at my desk reading Lycidas when Wily Smith burst into my room and shut the door behind him, leaning against it with closed eyes, just like a film" ( 132 ). Eventually, Swallow goes much further when he proclaims not only that art has overtaken life but that film has overtaken prose fiction, which has become as anachronistic and impotent a form as Swallow once was a husband, lover, and academic. "All I'm saying," Swallow says in Lodge's filmscript "Ending," is that there is a generation gap, and I think it revolves around this public/private thing. Our generation -- we subscribe to the old liberal doctrine of the inviolate self. It's the great tradition of realistic fiction, it's what novels are all about. The private life in the foreground, history a distant rumble of gunfire, somewhere offstage.... Well, the novel is dying, and us with it. No wonder I could never get anything out of my novel-writing class at Euphoric State. It's an unnatural medium for their experience. Those kids (gestures at [television] screen [showing live coverage of a student demonstration]) are living a film, not a novel. (250) Even up-to-date Zapp objects to Swallow's death-of-the novel scenario, as well he should, and not just because he exists solely as a character in an outmoded form. (The reader may similarly -168 object or else face the consequences of realizing that he has just wasted however long it took him to read the last 250 pages.) Swallow's fashionable view implies a crude literary evolutionism that not only is at odds with what Lodge has written concerning the literary continuum within which the novelist must necessarily operate but reflects as well one of the tenets of Beamish's How-To-Write-A-Novel approach to fiction writing: "life...goes forwards, not backwards" ( 186 ). Swallow and Beamish are wrong, however, for life and

art are not simple and linear but duplex -- doubled and doubling. Far from evidencing the used-upness of the genre, novels such as Changing Places and The History Man suggest that the novelist at the crossroads can resolve his dilemma. He can build his hesitancy and difficulty in the face of Swallow's (and Scholes's) challenge into the work itself and in this way create what Lodge calls "the problematic novel." Or he can exploit the very aspect of life and literature with which film has thus far not been much concerned, namely language, in all its manifestations. Changing Places renews, or replenishes, the novel by continuing to incorporate into itself other forms and other languages -absorbing, exploiting, and adapting them, in a deliberately self-conscious fashion. Lodge's novel mediates between life and art, between the liberal tradition and postmodern innovation, narrative drive and verbal texture, verbal muscle and quiet conversation. Whether the novel's "Ending" helps to accomplish this aim has been a matter of some debate. James Gindin, for example, has complained that "the novel cannot accommodate its own ending," because "the switch to another art form appears as only a flippant rejection of the interesting and intractable material the novel itself generated and an evasion of its own comic terms" ( "Risks" 157 ). I can hardly deny Gindin his complaint, but neither can I agree with it. The filmscript ending represents not any flippancy or literary flinching on Lodge's part but instead, as Malcolm Bradbury has pointed out, yet -169another stage in the author's "steady renegotiation of his position" that has been going on throughout Changing Places ( "Donswapping" 65 ). The title, therefore, may be said to refer as much to the author as to the major characters. The six chapter titles -- all of them participles -- imply a similar interest in open-ended process over even the kind of consistency and relative closure that Gindin demands. "We cannot, of course, be denied an end," Frank Kermode has written; "it is one of the great charms of books that they have to end. But unless we are extremely naive, as some apocalyptic sects still are, we do not ask that they progress towards that end precisely as we have been given to believe. In fact, we should expect only the most trivial work to conform to pre-existent types" ( 23 24 ). Much to the credit of its author, Changing Places conforms neither to the campus novel tradition nor to the tradition of the new, of those postmodernist fictions of excess that it resembles in conception if not in execution. (I am thinking here, at one extreme, of the aleatory novels of Marc Saporta and B. S. Johnson and, at the other, of Barth's most baroque narrative orchestrations.) Lodge cannot disguise "the tell-tale compression of the pages" (251) as his novel draws to its inevitable conclusion, but he can imitate the form of the film (or the filmscript: "Philip shrugs. The camera stops, freezing him in midgesture" [251]), and in doing so he can (re)negotiate a tentative compromise, or truce, between the two forms. The novel cannot help but telegraph its end; film, on the other hand, need not: "The film is going along, just as life goes along, people are behaving, doing things, drinking, talking, and we're watching them, and at any point the director chooses, without warning, without anything being resolved, or explained, or wound up, it can just...end" (251). Lodge's novels of exhaustion and replenishment do not turn in upon themselves but instead spiral out into the "real world" that literary realism -- heightened

bursting through the caked. How Far Can You Go? is Lodge's most straightforward novel. a novel in which he cultivates an artful simplicity in order to undermine the power of whatever is static and singular.and not -. in his one visionary moment. -171- 10 How Far Can You Go?: How Far Has Lodge Gone? CHANGING PLACES AND The British Museum Is Falling Down are comic novels. it looked as though the seeds of a whole twentiethcentury city had been planted under the ground a long time ago and were now beginning to shoot up into the light. on the other hand. characterization. to put his renegotiated aesthetic to use in the service of something other than its own workings. or companion piece. the reader's sense of time in that work is as befogged as the main character's as a result of Lodge's working his Ulysses-like stylizations on them both. The British Museum. comes to see Rummidge from the city's newly opened elevated expressway. Morris found it an oddly stirring sight.. What Lodge does in How Far Can You Go? is not only to look again and less optimistically (or less naively) at the birth control issue and its effects on the lives of Catholics but to extend much further and much more seriously the analogy between art and life that plays so comic a role in The British Museum. the book to which it serves as a kind of sequel. following as it does an extended but simple chronological line. Seen from one perspective. How . Lodge seems even more determined. chronologically speaking.once sought to imitate and explain but that has become. While the action in the earlier novel may be limited to a single day in the life of Adam Appleby. than The British Museum. in a word. like the novel." -170and happily so. How Far Can You Go?. exhausted topsoil of Victorian architecture.. "problematic. Having tested the postmodern position in Changing Places. for the city that was springing up was unmistakably American in style. Yet despite important differences in treatment and tone How Far Can You Go? is in its serious way no less playful a novel than. Three general areas in which Lodge undermines the seeming simplicity of his own novel are time. and he had the strange feeling of having stumbled upon a new American frontier in the most unexpected place" ( 210 ). at best "smiles" ( 74 ). The result is his strongest and most compelling work. in his role as liberal novelist. It may be said to be even more clearly focused. "Seen from this perspective. and -172 narrative language. for example. Thus does the reader come to see Changing Places from his "privileged narrative altitude" much as Zapp. monological.

1966. at once specific and yet vague and confused. and a little later at Notre Dame University. more Bradburyian way. Or. To return to the already -173quoted paragraph -. twenty. John Paul II. an ambiguous present.Far Can You Go?. though not too busy to include numerous temporal markers to assist the reader (as catechumen) through this deceptively straight and narrow. which millions saw as the bestowal of a special grace on the nation. providing similar historical information. or thirty pages."In the same year that Masters and Johnson published the results of their sex research." For one thing. Lodge and Doctorow seem intent on saving the individual self from being engulfed by the sands of history. at Duquesne University. Of course. historically verifiable world. Consequently. "in the spring of that year. shortly after attending a Latin mass celebrated in private by an old Jesuit friend" -. Valentine's Day mass and ending in 1978 with the deaths of Pope Paul VI and Pope. The reader's sense of time becomes. to put all this in a slightly different. One of the ways in which Lodge undermines the novel's chronological continuity is by doubling it. a fictional world that would correspond as closely as possible to the author's and reader's "real world. even as Lodge places his characters in a detailed. Indiana. Doctorow achieves in Ragtime. recalling his honeymoon in 1958. on the other hand. Zola. to the disappointment of many.or his authorial narrator's -. The postmodern author of How Far Can You Go? appears to be even busier than the linear God of Genesis. Doctorow juxtaposes fiction and history (or alternately.' [ Michael ] said one weekend in February 1975. yet in its own way duplex. and Lodge's -. small groups of Catholics began to experiment with 'Pentecostal' prayer meetings" ( 102 ). Lodge's purpose here seems only partly to authenticate his fiction in order to create. the private and the public) in order to give the former its due in a world largely given over to the latter. His relative omniscience parallels the characters' own retrospection and will generally prove just as limited. beginning in 1952 with a Thursday morning St.Lodge continues on and on for some 160 words more. the installation of a successor. like that of the characters. was not struck dead by a thunderbolt. mixing and matching two temporal schemes: the fictive and the historical. John Paul I. covers a lengthy but clearly defined chronological period. the reader here does enjoy a certain privileged position. 'was legally married' " ( 62 ). as becomes evident in a passage such as this one: " 'whereas I. and. and other realists did. While this excessiveness recalls to some degree the technique Robert Coover uses so effectively in The Public Burning. Pennsylvania." even though he has not identified the year for the past ten. later in that same paragraph. L. writing. for example. a pathless narrative wood. "in the same year" or "at the same time" or "in October of that year." one sentence begins. "In the same year that Masters and Johnson published the results of their sex research. Lodge's use of such realistic details seems in its effect on the reader to be less naturalistic than excessive. as Dreiser.writing of the novel's seventh and final chapter. though not nearly as privileged as he would like to assume. England won the World Cup at football. Evelyn Waugh died. the result in Lodge's case seems much closer to what E. Norris. he strives to blur the very focus he has established. chronicle. The conflation of . John Lennon boasted that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus Christ and.

since Dorothy's womb was in bad shape following two babies and a miscarriage in quick succession. Moreover. They spoke as if there was no such thing as sin in the world. President Kennedy was confiding to his friend Ben Bradlee. or for that matter the reader (and. of course. that he was deeply fascinated by the shameless selfpossession of the call-girls. he got a bad headache. as has been pointed out in previous chapters. and Austin are certainly not the "rounded" characters of conventional fiction. There may be more at work. or "narrative altitude. that if he didn't have a woman every three days or so. too). Father Brierly.) ( 76 . Adrian. At this time Adrian and Dorothy were abstaining totally and indefinitely from sexual intercourse. even to himself. "which is an almost inevitable result of dealing with a homogeneous social group. thinking about the Profumo scandal that was then ( 1963) rocking England. Polly. Michael. Hubert. it is this sense of limits -personal. neither are they the depthless. Similar to his handling of time in How Far Can You Go? is Lodge's handling of his major characters. and moral -. Dan. all ten of them (plus a number of spouses added as the narrative progresses). the author.that lies at the heart of Lodge's vision and writing. and Bill surely are. But Adrian only read about that many years later in a newspaper excerpt from Mr Bradlee's memoirs. when interviewed about their sex-lives on TV and in the press. (At about the same time. to speak of ten "major" characters in so short a novel (243 less-than-denselyprinted pages) poses an interesting question about their status as characters. the exception. Christine Keeler and Mandy Rice-Davies. as we shall see. Ruth. epistemological.. for while Angela. Although it is true that none is the protagonist of the . later editor of the Washington Post. . or at risk." Lodge has said.did not admit. and by woman the President didn't mean Mrs Kennedy. can know at any given time is limited. Violet. Henry. is that the characters are likely to be confused with each other in the reader's mind" ( Interview with Haffenden 154 ). Dennis.") "One of the possible weaknesses of the book.two temporal periods (the years 1958 and 1972. Of course.77 ) What Adrian. as Barthelme's Kevin. In another passage. Adrian. merely nominal caricatures of many postmodernist works. Even if he can jump ahead in time and in this way gain a privileged historical perspective. aesthetic. Edward. eventually leaves the priesthood and thereafter becomes sim-175 ply and democratically " Austin. Edward. here than Lodge's remark at first seems to suggest. (All but one are referred to by first name only. Miles. Clem." Lodge's method only proves that even this wider perspective must necessarily be limited in its own turn and in its own way.. as well as historical and narrative time) results in a slight confusion -174that Lodge's clear and notably simple prose style serves to disguise but not entirely to dispel.

and yet sympathetically close. The passage further implies sympathy with liberal Catholics who viewed the Church's prohibition on birth control as an imposition of the Church's power in an area where it had no real authority. but not. a realistic novel or a historical fiction or a novel of ideas). Lodge's. but he is surely wrong if it is something else (just what remains to be defined. do help to explain Theroux's impatience with passages such as the long historical digression (if that indeed is what it is) on pages 113. even if it nowhere asserts. and it is this gap between their fictional lives and the reader's experience that generates much of the novel's humor. the authorial narrator's belief that the entire birth control debate was itself a theological digression insofar as it involved a drifting away from Christ's own teachings into a realm that is at best speculative and at worst merely fictive. The passage suggests.novel.121 . a narrative aside to the reader: a digression within a digression. an intrusion within an intrusion. Part of Lodge's achievement in How Far Can You Go? stems from his ability to deride such concerns (from his historically privileged narrative position) without merely dismissing the people who have them. "Patience. even at times condescending. each "is the hero of his own sequence" ( Barthes 59 ). and therefore sexually and theologically naive.was a great debate about -. Consider the following passages from Lodge's long duplex digression. It is at once comically detached. -176Theroux's complaint reflects that myopic readiness on the part of many reviewers and more than a few critics to judge a contemporary work not on its own merits but instead according to outmoded criteria that. I believe. Such counsel invites the Therouxian reader to distinguish between "story" and digression as if the two were somehow separable rather than integral and complementary parts of the same dialogic whole.not. and/or his authorial narrator's. This "digression" not only comprises considerably more than half of the novel's fourth chapter (pages 113 . they stumble towards sixties liberation about a decade late." the narrator adds parenthetically." as Paul Theroux has charged. while they do not help us understand novels such as How Far Can You Go? any better. it includes.. Late in the digression's second half. and "Michael himself was uneasy about the Assumption" ( 58 ).. "the story will resume shortly" (115). for example. Young and Catholic. halfway through. Theroux is at least partly right if How Far Can You Go? is chiefly or solely a novel of character.but about the precise conditions under which a man was permitted to introduce his penis and ejaculate his semen into the vagina of his lawfully wedded wife. Miriam. the nature of Christ and the meaning of his teaching in the light of modern knowledge -. a question on which Jesus Christ himself had left no recorded opinion" ( 115 ). the authorial narrator makes a quite different point. attitude towards the members of this homogeneous group and towards the group itself is double. as if in an effort to revise and refine -177- . bravely questions the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. Moreover. Late in its first half we read: "Thus it came about that the first important test of the unity of the Catholic Church after Vatican II. The characters possess a certain hold on the reader's imagination and sympathy and so do not exist "merely as excuses for the novelist to dramatize recent history. say.127 ).

the novel's deceptively simple catechetical style and structure (the titular question. in which what is affirmed (I did say) is a negation (this wasn't a comic novel) that is in its turn qualified (exactly)."though it brought new problems" ( 113 ). impotent -. Death. his "story. all the heterogeneous voices. only an occasional brief respite from thinking about it" ( 121 ). but in a sense nearly nameless. The good news about sexual satisfaction has little to offer those who are crippled. The juxtaposition of the passages (and views) quoted above reflects Lodge's overall narrative method. however subtly. such as.only to lose ground in the next chapter. The problem for the reader is not simply a matter of deciding where to place interpretive stress. or clause -. a game of Snakes and Ladders in which the reader moves ahead -."on the whole. Theroux has no trouble identifying the novel's failings." ( 120 ). paragraph. for it compelled thoughtful Catholics to reexamine and redefine their views on fundamental issues.). steadily renegotiating his position. mad. The "story" which forms a fictive alternative to a troubling reality has become the digression. Lodge provides us with something less startling but no less effective.. of course.what he reported earlier: "The crisis in the Church over birth control was not. . speaking in one tone of voice but from various points of view. is the overwhelming question to which sex provides no answer. sentence. He offers endless oppositions. the "occasional brief respite" from that "philosophizing" about death which no longer seems quite so digressive. the authorial narrator concludes with a warning quite at odds with the flippancy of a line such as "a question on which Christ himself had left no recorded opinion": "Let copulation thrive. plot. "Story" and "aside" appear to have changed places. which is evident as well in the multiplicity of major. therefore. how they lost their virginities.. by all means. but instead of learning to remain open to all the conflicting possibilities. etc.. Lodge's literary sins. and voice. chronically sick. To return to Theroux for a moment: his criticism of Lodge's novel derives from precisely the kind of presumptuousness that How Far You Can Go? works against. which all of us will be in due course. whether on this or that character or chapter or passage.or old. Lodge's own readers]. qualifications. unless we are dead already. exactly" ( 112 ). each with his or her own life. and coordinations (including coordinated plots) designed to undermine. after all." the authorial narrator returns us to the pleasures of his text.. At this point.. ugly. And. to borrow Lodge's own metaphor for growing-up Catholic. How Far Can You Go? is. the absurd diversion from more important matters that it first appeared to many observers [including. "I did say this wasn't a comic novel. the disappearance of Hell was a great relief" -. This is precisely what Lodge teaches the reader to do even at the microlevel of the individual sentence. Thomas Pynchon renders Benny Profane's endless yo-yoing. but man cannot live by orgasms alone. the chapter -178title answers: how it was. after a Melvillean "but enough of this philosophizing. characters." But the reader's pleasure in this "story" is offset by his confusion. Having a little too confidently identified the author's aim and voice.

. though poorly prepared to do so. What the characters (especially Michael. ironic". for example. . Recounting the Catholic Church's debate on birth control.of those characters in the ____________________ 1 In this same interview. as long as's. H. and (of course) on the contrary's to make his dialogical point. that it's a serious interpersonal relationship based on genuine trust and a non-exploitative giving of oneself to another' " (197). for example's.But the novel that Lodge has described as being at once "serious and rather drab. He does so less out of "moral ambivalence. his sexual imagination fueled by D. and narrative labyrinth (the threads are by no means separable). this's." "comic and exuberant" resists easy definition ( Interview with Haffenden 153 ).always providing. Lodge inserts his array of characters who. -179novel who advocate the liberal course. this temperament is reflected in the "texture" of his fiction and "comes across in the novels [or so Lodge hopes] more as honest doubt than as evasiveness" ( 152 ). And the Lodge who devised the decrowning acronym COC is not above having a fifty-year-old spinster deliver one of the novel's funniest. "A Goodbye to Evadne Winterbottom. one might add. sceptical. however's. for Lodge is. must nevertheless struggle on (as does the reader). or's. however. The emphasis should." as A. Lodge constructs a five-page daisy chain of thus's. in search -180of precisely that static wholeness and closure which the novel resists in a variety of ways. than the need to evoke a necessary and healthy indecidability. Lawrence and others) want is a satisfying sexual life. The leader of Catholics for an Open Church -COC -. Lodge nonetheless seems to raise the same question that a Bradbury character raises in his story. Sympathetic towards the liberalizing of the Church's attitude towards sex and birth control..takes pride when the Automobile Club bestows legitimacy on their group in the form of a road sign for their Paschal Festival. but what they discover is just how elusive that satisfaction can be as the longed-for goal of frequent sex turns into yet another numbing routine. logical. 1 It is a novel that appears to advocate change within the Catholic Church and that at the same time uses comedy to undermine the authority -.looking to reconcile apparently opposed positions" ( 157 ). Lodge characterizes himself as "by nature .. as he has admitted. Lodge undermines the logic of both the old morality and the new (and.the monological seriousness -. therefore's." namely "what else [is there] one can do with sex besides have it" (Who Do You 3). why's. if's.. of course. At every turn of the narrative screw.a compromiser. "by temperament tentative. most trenchant. and most self-consciously dialogical lines: " 'With Bede teaching situation ethics in the Theology Department. Wilson contends. of the old novel and the new fiction as well). it's hardly surprising the young people should decide it's all right to sleep with each other -. but in fact's. N. be on the looking rather than on the reconciling. Into this moral.

"The more prominent the author is. moreover. As Patricia Waugh has pointed out. is about "how they dealt with love and death. it serves "to foreground the quaint obsolescence of the system of belief described" -. You're Barmy) does not speak with authority. and who repeatedly foregrounds his own indecisiveness and artifice in a novel that for many reads more like a documentary than as a piece of either the New Fiction or the New Journalism. the quaint obsolescence of a narrative mode based on such a system of belief. though not about Polly's article per se. At other times.and. "the more he becomes a rhetorical trope. thus there can be no appeal to an ultimate truth. proves not to evidence an evasion of responsibility on the author's (in this case Lodge's) part but instead constitutes a complex and necessary moral act. who outlines Gerard Genette's structuralist theory of narrative frequency and then applies it to sexual relations. a doctrine that." including "the provisionality of writing. who explains that Tessa was "classically ripe for having an affair" and in some other novel "might well have had one" ( 154 ). The unreliable narrator ( Jonathan Browne. "Polly decided to make death the subject of her next article. the fallible narrator cannot. Lodge's narrator is. and cheered up immediately" ( 157 ). in the text. by Lodge's adoption of the intrusive Barthian authorial narrator who alludes to Lodge's Language of Fiction." that he sought to evoke in this work ( Write On 156 ). the novel resists wholeness by flaunting it in the form of obviously makeshift transitions that call into question the very seamless continuity they pretend to serve. it is used "to convey basic information about Catholicism to a largely secular audience. about sexuality and finally about the Catholic Church itself" ( 74 ). he is elusive (as textually elusive as he is intertextually allusive). On the one hand. Lodge substitutes the postmodern doctrine of authorial fallibility. The particular "authorial mode of address" used in the novel. The fallible narrator is not synonymous with the unreliable narrator.At times. in Ginger." More pervasively. and the more difficult it is to identify that . for example. For the Catholic doctrine of papal infallibility." On the other. thus effectively undermining it. though." In the case of the fallible narrator no such standard exists. At the very end of Chapter 5. and Chapter 6. not only fallible. Lodge "reverses the effect of heightened sensibility and authority usually attributed to the convention. for example. in stepping into his own narrative. Even this newly formed continuity is disrupted. who explains the novel's symbolism. one might add. Let me clarify this point. and expresses some of the doubts and concerns expressed thematically. a final authority." Lodge had noted. This kind of disruption occurs so frequently as to take on a rhythm and continuity of its own. Used in this fashion Lodge's narrative strategy contributes to -181that "sense of provisionality. The unreliable narrator's discourse may be measured against an implied standard of "truthful discourse. Lodge disrupts the narrative continuity by repeatedly breaking off a single character's story and then picking it up again some pages later (usually in the next chapter). contrary to the claims of Christopher Lasch in The Culture of Narcissism and Gerald Graff in Literature Against Itself. serves a double purpose. Lodge pretends to permit a character in the novel to direct the course of the narrative. who acknowledges that "the omniscience of novelists has its limits" ( 114 ). Lodge has noted.

comments on the death of Angela and Dennis's young daughter: "Adrian and Dorothy had not followed this and had to have it explained to them... but also the authorial narrator's and Lodge's -. Consider the case of Polly. The word of the primary author cannot be his own word. even ones like Anne.The primary author cannot be an image.. Therefore the primary author clothes himself in silence. i. we ourselves become the primary author of the image. an effect which perfectly suited the paper's readership.extends." The difficulty arises when the reader attempts to ascertain just how far this irony -Polly's of course. When we try to imagine the primary author figuratively. mentioned at novel's end). Of course. as will you. replaced as it is by that of the fallible narrator. it is worth recalling at this point Barthes' warning: "Who speaks is not who writes and who writes is not who is" (283). mostly middle-class professionals and their wives. of course.e. one that will probably change again after her divorce.. and those speeches do represent my own view as authorial narrator about the whole issue I've raised" ( 155 ). Polly writes "in a subtly ironic style that undermined [her 'radical and progressive ideas'] even as it expressed them. -182Lodge's own voice elude the reader. One does not kill off characters lightly. The creating image (i. with leftish views and bad consciences about their affluent life-styles" ( 156 ). Dennis and Angela and Anne are fictional characters.. I assure you. under her married name. This is.. gentle reader... Interestingly. But the silence can assume various forms of expression" ( "Extracts" 181 ).e. "life-styles. The primary (not created) and secondary author (the image of the author created by the primary author).. Having had her Ann Landers-like column appear pseudonymously for some time. 2 We can go a bit further and say that not only does ____________________ 2 Although in this same interview Lodge claims that "the reader is indeed in a position to identify the voice-over [in the novel's concluding chapter] as the narrative voice.... In one of the novel's many authorial intrusions (for want of a better word). also a writer. but they stand here for all the real people to whom such disasters happen without apparent reason or justice. I have avoided a direct presentation -183of this incident because frankly I find it too painful to contemplate. we ourselves are creating his image. right down to the final stylized word (or words). Polly is now permitted to publish it under her own name (that is to say. . the primary author) can never enter into any image he has created.. In one of the notes he made shortly before his death. evoked . the authorial narrator -here assuming a certain authority -. but his fallible narrator's voice eludes the reader as well.voice with me" ( Interview with Haffenden 153). Bakhtin made a similar point concerning "the problem of the image of the author. they cannot bleed or weep. also a fairly accurate description of Lodge's own audience and more disconcertingly of his narrator's (and his own) subtly ironic style of expression and concealment.

his pseudo-authorial voice -into the novel. presence or absence of the narrator from the story he narrates. more accurately.. etc. The passage is unsettling for two reasons. their readers or spectators. Speaking of all serious fiction of the postmodern period. More importantly. evidences the narrator's sympathy and humanity) than of how the authorial narrator may be saying what he says. Lodge has recently concluded that "what we see happening. As in the case of nearly all of Barthelme's fictions. then we. the world in which one tells.solely for that purpose" ( 125 ). are not quite so unrelated as they might at first a revival of diegesis [of telling]: not smoothly dovetailed with -184mmesis [showing] as in the classic realist text. that the extradiegetic . Narrating. explaining or justifying what is told). as in the line "Virgil has Dido die. or field. Whence the uneasiness Borges so well put his finger on: "Such inversions suggest that if the characters in a story can be readers or spectators. the passage unsettles the reader's equanimity less in terms of what is said (which. Far from having "no scruples about interjecting his authorial voice" -." In his Figures series. forms a shifting but sacred frontier [or "boundary"] between two worlds. can be fictitious. The stream of consciousness has turned into a stream of narrative" ( Mimesis and Diegesis 108 ). Lodge is keenly aware not only of what he is doing but of its implications as he draws upon Genette's exhaustive analysis of narrative "voice. though not quite so extreme. the world of which one tells. nonetheless requires that the reader remain on the alert. or the inverse" (234-235). narrating his own part in the story he is telling. all of which are available to the narrator in a given text. presenting the narrative situation itself. Lodge's use of an elusive fallible narrator. Genette analyzes voice according to time and level of narration. which.or." The most troubling thing about metalepsis indeed lies in this unacceptable and insistent hypothesis. but to a narrator who is himself elusive and multiple. commenting.). Genette expands the term to include "any intrusion by the extradiegetic narrator or narratee into the diegetic universe (or by diegetic characters into a metadiegetic universe. One is that the passage serves as a perfect illustration of what Genette calls a narrative metalepsis in which. Additionally. then. of possibilities. no less so than in certain postmodernist texts where the practice is more clearly foregrounded than it is in Lodge's pseudorealistic novel where it must vie with a compelling and certainly "realistic" subject matter and style. Genette defines narrating not as a single mode of discourse but instead as a set. and the variety of functions open to the narrator (telling.. He must constantly be prepared to renegotiate his position in relation not only to a narrator who is not to be confused with the author (even though the text often seems to invite such identification). as one reviewer has cheerfully claimed ( Sullivan)." the author is said to cause the events he presumably otherwise only and innocently narrates. but foregrounded against mimesis. after all. and not subordinated to mimesis as in the modernist text. from the seemingly conventional to the programmatically innovative. his sympathetic tongue perhaps in his postmodern cheek. as will soon be made clear.

-185the reader's experience of "pronominal vertigo" (246) and parallels and intensifies the destabilizing of the discourse within the narrative brought about by various dialogic means. This play of democratically dialogized voices stands not for truth but for the process of discovering truth. or that of the liberals. used stylization before.or ironic -. in How Far Can You Go? "essential meanings" are not actually supplanted by existential acts and/or . as in the following line. complacent.are. "of more or less equal importance" ( Interview with Haffenden 155 ).. however. and the reader may well wonder if there is not some irony in the echo. or parodied -. as Lodge has said of the characters themselves. of the novel by the essay. the cause is obviously -. Stylization involves imitation without any accompanying parodic -. Michael and Miriam "both agreed that the mass was the most meaningful liturgical event they had ever participated in" ( 124 ). at its level. whether that of the Catholic Church. but what distinguishes the usage in How Far Can You Go? is that all the voices -whether reported. However. but in Miles's voice as well: "Cambridge. ( Genette236) This destabilizing of the narrator's relationship to the narration -. "in [this or] that sense right" ( 79 ). largely in imitation of Joyce. of course. as the authorial narrator likes to say. Lodge has.. moving confidently and dismayingly from "one state of certainty to another" ( 105 ).and this time too despite the 'author's intentions' and through the effect of a movement all the more irresistible because involuntary -.this invasion of the story by the commentary. It stands therefore in opposition to monologism of all kinds. crammed with vain. after attending an innovative church perhaps always diegetic. of the narrative by its own discourse" (259). For example. stylized.perhaps belong to some narrative. the line separating stylization from parody cannot be quite as clearly drawn as Bakhtin would like to and I -. Lodge's narrator not only speaks about Miles. quoted.intent. as -186one papal spokesman puts it. At times. concludes the history of the genre (of the genres) and. inaugurates the limitless and indefinite space of modern literature. and that the narrator and the narratees -. Each of them is. a homosexual Cambridge don. claiming to find in their innovative beliefs "the essential meaning" of this or that religious matter.became hideous to him."the disturbing intervention of the narrative source -of the narrating in the narrative" ( Genette211) 3 -results in ____________________ 3 Genette's remarks concerning Recherche du temps perdu as a distinctly modern work are appropriate here: "If the Recherche du temps perdu is experienced by everyone as being 'not completely a novel any more' and as the work which. including what Bakhtin calls stylization. a claustrophobic little place. ruthless people" ( 138 ). along with some others.

by reducing them to just two. as in Borges. but as well -. voices. As a permutation fiction. situations. Rather. as in Beckett. it explores the question" ( Interview with Haffenden 152). In this case the dilemma takes on special significance to the extent that Lodge agrees with his narrator that "in matters of belief (as of literary convention) it is a nice question how far you can go in this process without throwing out something vital" ( 143 ). How Far Can You Go? "doesn't really take up a clear position on the question the title raises. And it extends to the question of just how far liturgical and theological reform can go before it goes "too far" for Catholicism as such to survive (which itself begs the question: what is "Catholicism as such"?). "was the issue on which many lay Catholics first attained moral autonomy" ( 118 ). The artist in the twentieth century finds himself in a similar position. or its audience. but moral autonomy has in this novel its own dark side: moral uncertainty. How Far Can You Go? serves as a perfect example of what Lodge in The Modes of Modern Writing calls the postmodern fiction of "permutation. possessing more freedom than ever before but uncertain how to proceed and unable to go back to the simple pleasures of "the marquis left his house at five o'clock." Such works attempt to explore the entire range of narrative possibilities. The question of moral and aesthetic responsibility is what cannot be escaped. each is brought into contact with and made to coexist with all others. Even as he demystifies Catholicism and the Anglo-Catholic liberal novel. Against the multiplicity of characters. As Lodge has appropriately pointed out. by proliferating them. as the title of Julian Mitchell's 1963 novel has it. Its meaning metamorphoses throughout the novel. and narratives (novelistic and historical. . in which case the effect is one of closure and exhaustion (230-231). either. but to ask How Far Can You Go? Contraception. How Far Can You Go? tends towards liberation of a special and certainly qualified kind. for the issue is not to go As Far As You Can Go. and it encompasses -.not finally.the not unrelated question of how far the novelist can go before the novel as such. Lodge seeks to discover what is essential --"vital.postmodern performance. Although in outward respects quite unlike such decidedly radical texts and ficciones as those written by Beckett and Borges. Publishers Weekly). disappears. and in part this need entails accepting fallibility and indeterminacy as articles of faith. or. Lodge writes. mimetic and diegetic). and of course the question -187that serves as both the novel's title and refrain. casting out the monological demon. It is in fact not only the answer that is multiple and finally elusive but the very question itself. Lodge posits the repetition of certain lines." That How Far Can You Go? has been called a "putative novel" nicely sums up Lodge's postmodern dilemma (review of Souls and Bodies. in which case the effect is one of liberation. It includes the adolescent Catholic's uncertainty about what is and what is not a sexual sin (accompanied by the priest's seemingly confident yet evasive reply: conscience will tell you). plots." This "essence" is not a particular belief but an openended need to believe.

faith" ( "David Lodge Interviewed" 109 ). through the eyes as it were of the formulaic Elton Special which. To his credit. Lodge's depiction of the crisis of language and mediation does not stop here. an interpretive trinity that most readers will probably not trouble to distinguish. and accept it as a coda to the transcript/ Elton Special/Paschal Festival. playfully at bay just a little longer. Rather." Lodge has since come to feel that it is no longer possible to talk about a sharply defined Catholic novel. as a documentary. all but four are devoted to the BBC special. it reflects the incompleteness of his knowledge in that he is unable to identify one of the voicesover he hears. Moreover. Lodge appends yet another. to borrow the analogy propounded by Barthes and Derrida which Lodge will use in his next novel. presents its subject "objectively" but which. Of the chapter's fifteen pages. says towards the close of the novel. however.Having written an M. sounding here a good deal like the novelist at the crossroads. "and they all lived happily ever after. and the faith on which it depends. for the Elton Special he offers the reader is itself mediated." Lodge then appends one of those Austen-toThackeray conclusions in which the characters' later lives are -189all tidily disposed of -. ostensibly objective transcript turns out to be contaminated (and thus in turn contaminates the reader's reading of the special). thesis entitled "Catholic Fiction Since the Oxford Movement: Its Literary Form and Religious Content.and confusing -. "freeze frame"). Small World). or the death of this novel anyway. the whilom priest." edited and produced by Polly's husband. the Catholic novel by renegotiating the terms upon which it. or resurrect. Lodge neither abandons the Catholic novel nor nostalgically attempts to perpetuate a dead form. The presumptuous and no less ignorant reader will very likely identify the voice as that of the author.the early realists' version of that still earlier fairy tale ending." But to this ending to the transcript's ending to the special's ending to the festival's ending. simultaneously distorts it. The novel's concluding chapter recalls the filmscript "Ending" of Changing Places. Having exhausted his stock of . he seeks to revitalize. "I think you could say that the crisis in the Church today is a crisis of language" (234). In this way Lodge keeps death. but in How Far Can You Go? Lodge goes much further. Lodge. it reflects Michael's technical expertise and the pride he takes in his skills. catenating conclusions as if they were dramatic climaxes (or sexual. as an edited version. The transcript not only records Elton's record of the Paschal Festival (and his editorial biases). postChristian age. taking the form of the "polished transcript" (228) Michael prepares from a videotape.A. Jeremy Elton. And finally. or the death of the novel. can be made viable in a postmodern. and at this point the transcript "Ends. it is impossible to read the transcript without assigning to it the same value Michael does as "a kind of coda to everything that had happened to them in matters of belief" (228). The reader comes to know the COC Paschal Festival in decidedly mediated form. "partly because Catholicism itself has become a more confused -. And even this professionally prepared. As -188Austin. The transcript concludes with a freeze frame (or rather Michael's words. "Easter with the New Catholics.

must enter into contact. it propels the reader beyond present time into a future at once real and fictive. the fictive and entirely nameless authorial narrator that has always been one of the novel's characters. that is.characters. Lodge turns in Small World to something more ambitious in its narrative breadth though perhaps less far-reaching in its implications. much to the reader's dismay and delight.. the extradiegetic narrator inserts himself into the diegetic universe. a linguist.. What will happen now? All bets are void. a man of destiny. A changing Church acclaims a Pope who evidently thinks that change has gone far enough. the story has overtaken the narrating" ( 227 ). Reader. In fact..until it is finally reduced to zero. Pope John Paul I had died and been succeeded by John Paul II.separate[s] the reported action from the narrating act. And what is necessary for this is carnival freedom and carnival's -191 . dramatically chosen." At that point "the narrative has reached the here and the now. narrative time and historical time. Lodge inserts himself into the narrative. While I was writing this last chapter. It suggests that there is life after death -. Pope Paul VI died and Pope John Paul I was elected. the future is uncertain. an athlete. slowly. In Genette's terms. Therefore all things that are disunified and distant must be brought together at a single spatial and temporal 'point'. a poet. Everything must be reflected in everything else. He inserts. but it will be interesting to watch." Bakhtin writes. farewell! (243-244) -190- 11 A Small [Carnivalized] World How Far Can You Go? illustrates particularly well that distinctly modern narrative movement in which. Before I could type it up. but the time of the narration and the time of the narrating. I teach English literature at a redbrick university and write novels in my spare time. the first non-Italian pope for four hundred and fifty years: a Pole. Lodge's tactic strongly yet playfully implies a possible resurrection. the blankness of the as yet unwritten page. The authorial narrator's envoi to the reader not only bridges the gap between past and present. all things must illuminate one another dialogically.. instantly popular -. of story and telling. and hustled by history. come together face to face and begin to talk with one another.but theologically conservative.after the death of the Catholic novel. What he achieves is the kind of dialogic intersection of narratives that Bakhtin discovered in Dostoevsky's exemplary novels: "In Dostoevsky's world. there is a gradual decrease in "the temporal (and spatial) interval that. a man of the people. Having accomplished this merging of past and present. "all people and all things must know one another and know about one another. as Genette has pointed out. a philosopher.

the telling of the second. Thus. Poe. Chaucer. Even as the novel moves slowly towards this general intersection. including Bradbury. we find a bewildering number of narrative lines of more or less equal significance that intersect at both the mimetic and diegetic ____________________ 1 The phrase "meeters and greeters" from Rates of me") from "Dangerous Pilgrimages. appropriately the one from Finnegans Wake -. Foucault. Amis." British Museum 9 ). as if they were stretched out on the rear seats of a jumbo jet" ( 95 )." In "Second Countries. after having just read about Howard Ringbaum's narratively earlier but chronologically coterminous attempt to seduce his wife during their transatlantic flight. Small World is a novel in which Troilus and Creseyde and absence and presence exist side by side. we have a double intersection. a charter flight to Majorca from Ginger." for "a civilization of lightweight luggage [and] permanent disjunctions" in which "everybody seems to be departing or returning from somewhere" (271). Yeats. Eliot. It is a campus novel for an age of "the global campus."Hush! Caution! Echoland!" -alerts the reader to at least one aspect of the novel's carnival freedom. its richly allusive intertextual texture: the novel as a vast but not obtrusively erudite literary recycling project. Synge.. the numerous mimetic plots (and perhaps the diegetic plot too) not only intersect but echo and double one another as well. Each contributes to the same general plot of desire -. One of the novel's three epigraphs. professional. Shakespeare. You're Barmy.artistic conception of space and time" ( Problems 177 ). A more immediate "source" for the use of the grail legend in Small World is "the somewhat preposterous but very enjoyable film. Jessie Weston. the Swallows. however. Instead of a linearly and hierarchically developed plot. not above plundering and recycling his own works and literary reception: the Zapps. the Brothers Grimm. fully figured in the final chapter. Derrida. from the segmenting and intercutting . Terry Southern. or manifest themselves in. and narrative -that underlies each of the novel's many and varied quests. a diagram of the novel's plot would more closely resemble an airline route map than Freytag's pyramid. Consequently. we experience the intersection of the two plots on the diegetic level. 1 Lodge is. in fact. and a host of other writers and critics make appearances of one kind or another. Ariosto. -192levels. and almost as furtively. on the mimetic level. But when we read "Philip and Hilary Swallow are copulating as quietly.. Wolfgang Iser. reads a novel written by a character from one of the other narrative lines whom she will meet later when their narratives momentarily converge. for example. and "the mystery of the disappearing review copies" of The British Museum Is Falling Down ( "Introduction. and several other characters from Changing Places. both.sexual. Lodge's comic variations on a once serious theme. George Steiner. One character. Excalibur. it provides delays and frustrations aplenty and at all narrative me" ("I'm Jane Austen -. a way of looking back in order to move ahead. "I'm John Winthrop -. The events of the first story affect." Bradbury refers to "the travelling scholar.journeying to some mythic destiny" ( 15 )." which Lodge viewed around the time he began writing the novel ( Write On 72 ). As the reader comes to understand. Barthes.

in a sense. begins again. -194and again in III. this section deals with no fewer than seventeen more or less major characters. and V considerably shorter (twentyfive pages). whom he believes dead. the narrative stops. and. Swallow's leisurely. All of this relative regularity is. however. II.'" and the actual statement of the question. All fifty-five pages are set at the University Teachers of English Language and Literature conference being held at the University of Rummidge. followed by an expository return to an earlier time" ( Genette 36 ). bringing their lives up to date since Changing Places. planes. and phone lines in between: thirty-one subsections in less than thirty pages. Having moved ahead.techniques perfected in How Far Can You Go? to the 194-word delay between a character's prefatory remark. "'There's something I must ask you. begins simply enough with the word "meanwhile. I. (With Small World this entails returning to the events of the previous evening. from 5:00 to 9:00 a. ( Greenwich Mean Time). The pace slackens a bit in II. The overall structure of the novel works in a similar but more relentless way to overthrow monological continuity by creating a carnival atmosphere. Covering just a four-hour period. having Hilary exit. What we have here is not the suspense of narrative interruptus but its parody ( 127 . decidedly oldfashioned tale of a brief love affair some years ago with a woman named Joy. Parts I. it is possible to discern a degree of linear development based.m. Part I begins as many novels and epics do. II. and IV are of virtually equal length (about eighty pages each).) From here the novel moves slowly and in more or less linear fashion through the first section of the first part (I. quite deceptive in terms of the way in which the -193reader actually experiences Lodge's text. with parts I. Insofar as the action here is limited (relatively speaking) to just four or five main lines. and various cars. in twelve different settings from London to Chicago to Australia. 111. the shortest one and one-half lines. II is somewhat shorter (sixty-seven pages). The next section. supplanted by a simultaneity of plots. "in media res. however. Small World is divided into five parts. the longest two and one-half pages.128 ). as is the reader's sense of narrative vertigo as Lodge yo-yo's back and forth between not only time zones but narrative zones as well. Then. Two (fifteen subsections in thirty pages) as Lodge's chronicle of the same day continues. Two begins the narrative doubling." which at once serves to place the reader clearly in narrative time and to mark the beginning of the end of narrative linearity. One (seventeen subsections in forty pages). III. One begins the narrative deluge. The narrative intercutting is greater here than anywhere else in the novel. covering some of the same time period from a different focal point. loops back. Two. and they focus on Persse McGarrigle's pursuit of an unregistered "freelance" conferee named Angelica Pabst. I. on the narrative's own peculiar logic of . and V further divided into two chapters each and part IV into three chapters. First Lodge treats Zapp and Hilary. he has Swallow enter to tell his story within Lodge's story. One).

Small World is a decidedly carnivalesque novel that develops its own time standard. recyclings of material culled from a host of sources. instead of Yeats's peace and solitude. This discovery leads him to search for Bernadette. Retreating from the ever-elusive Angelica (whom he has come to mistake for her sister." V. on another episode in a seemingly endless cycle of romances within Lodge's cycle of romances within the larger literary history of romance. Persse goes to Innisfree where. Small World is a novel at the crossroads by a novelist at the crossroads. As even this brief summary makes clear. he discovers his cousin Bernadette's seducer. which in its turn leads the reader to IV. stylizations. as elsewhere in the novel. or alternately. Tokyo. for the perfect conference. its own geography (based on the location of academic conferences from Rummidge to Chicago to Jerusalem). a slapstick comic interlude. One brings nearly all of the principal characters together at the annual. Lodge folds. in complementary fashion. but IV. Into this duplex chronicle of Persse and Zapp. and its own set of permutational possibilities. the first five sections all deal with Persse's continuing and still unsuccessful pursuit of Angelica and the next ten sections. "Eliza. for lost relatives. less than two pages long. allusions. Two (four sections in twenty pages) is devoted solely to Persse. and . parallel stories. Two. In III. or intercuts. All are held together by the numerous characters' varied quests: for Angelica. Two the narrative pace again slackens and the focus narrows still further. and Seoul alternate with the again complementary narrative of Zapp's captivity (he is being held hostage by a gang of leftists who mistakenly believe he is still married to the now wealthy Desiree Boyd.improbable coincidences. One (twenty pages. settings. two additional ongoing narratives: Rodney Wainwright's still unsuccessful efforts to complete a paper for Zapp's Jerusalem conference on the Future of Criticism and Robin Dempsey's further conversations with Joseph Weizenbaum's well-known computer program. the first of which Lodge easily could have divided into five). a search which in turn leads him back to his pursuit of Angelica. however. Early in the novel Persse attends a performance of a pantomime version of Puss in Boots that includes Robin Hood. whom they again mistakenly believe will pay a huge ransom for Zapp's release). Although there are fifteen sections in just thirty-eight pages. and finally (because it does not appear until the novel's last page) for Cheryl Summerbee. whose adventures here. There is some narrative backsliding in IV. Here Persse's nonstop narrative flights to Los Angeles. six sections. Three (fifteen sections in forty pages). and V. inserted tales. beyond the narrative multiplication and intersection of people. completes the novel and the year (it's 31 December) on a typically Lodgean note of incompletion and expectancy. -195middle-of-the-academic-year MLA conference. parodies. with the reunion of Swallow and his Joy. a porn star). and times to the convergence in one novel of various literary forms and styles. end-of-the-calendar-year. Honolulu. take on an antic linearity. for an original idea. It comprises a narrative conference of echoes. We find the hapless but always hopeful Persse about to embark on yet another quest. for the ultimate academic appointment (the UNESCO Chair of Literary Studies). duets. The carnivalesque atmosphere extends further. and. in general.

Others involve entire scenes. poem). entitled. Desiree's book is yet another carni-196valization within Lodge's larger carnivalization. is currently working on "a book combining fiction and non-fiction -. Lodge's carnivalization operates at both the micro. for example). with commentary and digression by Zapp). a street-theater version of The Waste Land. or snow-. and more." student essay exams. the effect was rather like that of twisting the tuning knob of a powerful radio set at random. Some time later she resumed" (220). we learn that Desiree Boyd. confession and speculation" ( 86 ). In one. and slapstick comedy than with conventional Anglo-liberal fiction. conference papers. Itself written in dialogue -197only. so that to Persse's ears. novelist Ronald Frobisher explains that although he has writer's block (as do most of the writers in this novel) and as a result cannot write fiction ("'with fiction it's the narrative bits that give the writing its individuality'" [ 181 ]). The latter includes not only pantomimes and works-in-progress but bawdy songs."as a finale to the first act. Zapp's ex-wife. There is. he can write television scripts because they consist entirely of dialogue. a dust-jacket biography. The narrator's chaste summary here forms a narrative . letters. It is an intertextual reality in which one finds not language but languages. criticism. Zapp's Barthesian lecture on "Textuality as Striptease. pricked for a possible greeting from Angelica. tape-recorded messages. Those involving Swallow and Joy are rendered in the style of popular romance. author of an "essay on the stream-of-consciousness novel as an instrument of bourgeois hegemony (oppressing the working classes with books they couldn't understand)" (238).' in which Puss in Boots triumphed in a Royal Disco Dancing competition at the Palace" ( 35 ). in a similar vein. and of similarly melodramatic novels. not speech but ways of speaking -.fantasy. The reader's vertigo is similar to that which Persse experiences in Lausanne: "A babble of multi-lingual conversation rose from the tables and mingled with the remarks of the parading pedestrians. picking up snatches of one foreign station after another" (261). And later. poems (including one earth-. 'Caturday Night Fever.grist for Lodge's carnivalizing mill from which no one and nothing escapes decrowning. the Nighttown section of Ulysses. the one-sentence stylization of the speech of Marxist poststructuralist Fulvia Morgana. The reality Persse experiences has more in common with John Cage's aleatory music. including thirties' film romances (the waitingin-the-railway-station-for-the-lover-toarrive scene. In Small World stylization extends even to the level of the recurrent scene or situation. Lodge's scene mimics Frobisher's condition. a computer readout which takes the form of a psychiatrist-patient interview. "Here there was a hiatus in Joy's monologue while Philip once more fervently demonstrated how well-founded this [ Joy's] intuition had been. Swallow's story of Joy (in its oral version. for example.and macro-levels. a spectacular song and dance number for the whole company.

then. 2 Rather. it is the end itself. who resolves the play of ideas by judging the Freudian version "'more true to life. Satire is the antithesis of romance. In Small World. one might say. neither romance nor satire but what results from the dialogical convergence of the two. you don't deserve it" ( Interview with Haffenden 159 ). therefore.'") And we see this doubling as well in Lodge's choosing to write a novel that would be "highly literary and yet in a curious way frivolous" ( Interview with Haffenden163) at the same time. Homosexual critic Michel Tardieu's homosexual interpretation of The Waste Land is a case in point. We detect this dialogical doubling in Zapp's comment. Lodge's narrator uses the word "monologue" innocently. is to enact within its own pages what Lodge feels any book worth reading must do (though most books will. because romance is ultimately about the achievement of desire. This doubleness is not the means to some higher (thematic) end requiring the subordinating of certain plots to some one. In the Freudian version the old guy gets wasted by his kids'" ( 42 ). "One of the difficulties posed by Bakhtin is to avoid thinking from within an all-pervasive simultaneity without at the same time falling into the habit of reducing everything to a series of binary oppositions: not a dialectical either/or. What Small World does. and in some ways the two elements are incompatible. The meaning of a book is in large part a product of its . as is the reading of the Puss in Boots pantomime as a version of the grail legend. cannot. satire is saying that you won't get what you desire. "'in the Grail legend the hero cures the king's sterility. Yet even this presumably innocent usage has its own added significance insofar as monologues.has any meaning on its own. It is a work in which "romance" is doubled and redoubled beyond all monological definition and which consequently has as much to do with Hawthorne's notions as with Weston's theories and Harlequin's publications.. in a vacuum. one of Jessie Weston's former students." Lodge has noted. such monologues do not. (It is Zapp. for in the small but dialogically dense world of Lodge's novel nothing is without its decrowning double. "as an academic comedy of manners which would have a romance plot underneath it. -198and antithesis are brought together without any hope of -and without any risk of -. exist on their own. and narrative frustrations. Small World is. Thesis ____________________ 2 As Katerina Clark and Michael Holquist have pointed out. It is "a novel about desire" but "not just about sexual desire. academic. do it in a far less self-conscious fashion): "No book. that is. according to Miss Sibyl Maiden.. not Lodge. a novel drawn from such diverse sources as Patricia Parker's scholarly study Inescapable Romance and Brian Moynahan's quite different Airport International. in fact. he uses it without intending any Bakhtinian "sideward glance" at Bakhtin's dialogic theory.their being resolved in that synthesis of abstraction that led Bakhtin to carefully distinguish dialogics from dialectics. of course. but a dialogic both/and" ( Mikhail Bakhtin 7 ). and especially monologic views.interruptus within a larger narrative interruptus ( Swallow's story) within Lodge's novel of sexual. In the line just quoted." "I conceived it. abound in Small World.

4 ). and sheer excessiveness. Reading Small World provides an analogous experience. that is. as it will modify the future" ( Borges. "Kafka and His Precursors.S. the literal mimetic reality in the novel continually dissolves into an indeterminacy of signs and semiotic interpretation. quests. At the very end of Small World. -200 Persse McGarrigle is especially prone to mistaking interpretation for recognition. less as the principal characters in Small World than as the most exemplary. If a novel did not bear some resemblance to other novels. It is precisely this endless play between convergence and divergence that. later yet. we should not know how -199to read it. like the intersection of their narrative lives and lines. though many of the characters in Small World. As Bakhtin has explained. I have chosen to single them out for brief discussion here. the more Borgesian subject of Eliot's influence on Shakespeare and. Persse is not the novel's protagonist because Small World. This tendency towards "endless semiosis" Lodge both indulges in and turns to his own novelistic advantage. there is an airport flutterboard that recalls the one Petworth observes near the beginning of Rates of Exchange. unifies this. it is a matter of interpretation" ( Semiottics43). the novel does begin and end with him and does involve to a large but by no means overwhelming extent his particular desire. like How Far Can You Go? does not have one. possibilities. transformations. "the device of 'not . and if it wasn't different from all other novels we shouldn't want to read it" ( Working with Structuralism 3 .differences from and similarities to other books. recapitulate the novel's underlying dialogic principle and serve as the recurrent background against which the rest of Lodge's narrative plays itself out. every reading. "'the modern reception of Shakespeare and Co. being influenced by T. Lodge's most diverse novel." Umberto Eco has pointed out. And it is evident too in the transformation of Persse's M. It is reflected in the work's semiotic layer -. thesis (concerning Shakespeare's influence on Eliot) the way. More importantly. However. multiplicity. His work modifies our conception of the past. whose meaning Bradbury's narrator glosses in the following way: "out of redundancy is coming word" ( 124 ). "is not a mere matter of recognition (of a stable equivalence). the single meaning for the plurality of possible meanings. Eliot'" ( 156 )." Labyrinths 201 ). come not the word but a plurality of words. turning every decoding. He finds in the comic plurality of a sign's meaning a comic vitality as well as a viable alternative to monologic seriousness. first. Therefore.A. 3 ____________________ 3 "The fact is that every writer creates his own precursors. "The meaning of signs. his and Angelica's incompatibility and complementarity. into a misreading. We see this especially well in the long paragraph on page 236 in which Lodge chronicles the ways in which signs can go awry. out of its redundancy. and perhaps many of its readers too. even more than the self-evident quest structure. would like to believe otherwise.

it looks like we're inside quotation marks'" (325). he is a walking anachronism in contemporary literary circles in that he is completely ignorant of critical theory and incapable of putting abstraction over object. McGarrigle may be "an old Irish name that means 'Son of Super-valour'" ( 9 ) but "Persse" is more ambiguous. They comprise a plurality -202- . The image is entirely appropriate. Lily and Angelica would have played their predictable parts in the author's manichaean plot. Latin's per se and Joyce's Persse O'Reilly. by her twin sister Lily ( Pabst. the protean hero of Finnegans Wake. Yet at the same time she is the Alcina ( Circe) figure in that same work and its predecessor. Angelica is an even more complex. in short. simpleminded and naive on the part of the protagonists -always takes on great organizing potential when an exposure of vulgar conventionality is involved" ( Dialogic 164 ). "the fairest of her sex. a birthmark shaped like an inverted comma high up on Angelica's left and Lily's right thigh. "but I parse him Persse O'Reilly else he's called no name at all" ( 44 ). Orlando Innamorato. also "Papps" -her professional name) whose face Persse mistakenly "recognizes" as Angelica's in a number of pornographic contexts. or more "absent. and therefore one more manifestation of Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker. As one of Joyce's voices says of Persse O'Reilly and therefore of HCE as well. She is the Angelica of Milton's Paradise Regained. Pabst (the name she has adopted for the scholarly publications she has yet to write) she serves as the novel's Anna Livia Plurabelle to Persse's Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker. and in her guise as A. the exposure of academic pretentiousness. Persse. is the fact that she is doubled in yet another way. Persse McGarrigle's quest is similarly multiplied. L. a variation on the poetic dialogue between the body and the soul. He is.deliberate on the part of the author. And he is also representative of the further decline of the hero. or earwig. who is perce-oreille. though naive and unfamiliar with poststructuralist theory and lingo. if a less present. as in Small World. Greek myth's -201Perseus. " 'a hopeless romantic' " ( 39 ). of plural roles: Grail legend's Percival. As befits her role as the elusive object of Persse's desire. is not as simple or as single as he first appears to be. "A conference virgin" ( 18 ). In Small World they serve a different and much more self-consciously wrought purpose. "'When we stand hip to hip in our bikinis. It is precisely this naivete which distinguishes Persse from most of the other characters. Lily notes. a sign of indeterminate meaning." and too the damsel in distress from Ariosto's Orlando Furioso." figure in Lodge's novel. at least for her pursuer. But as in all things Lodge.understanding' -. semiotics' Charles Saunders Peirce. from the divine figure of myth and the more-than-human hero of romance to the postmodern eiron of contemporary fiction whose sphere of action is for the most part confined to the sphere of reaction. including. Worse. Telling Persse of her and Angelica's sole distinguishing physical feature. for an intertextual quotation is precisely what the sisters are. indeterminacy over moral valuation. In a nineteenth century novel. his desire for Angelica becomes entwined with his search for his fallen cousin and his exposure to contemporary literary theory.

and later still that she is about to undergo yet another metamorphosis as the wife of Peter (not Persse) McGarrigle. In the middle is Lodge. Tardieu. Angelica tells Persse. then that her adoptive father has bestowed on her the contemporary equivalent of a magical charm. Marxist. The UNESCO Chair of Literary Studies. "I don't come down on either side but my feeling is that literary studies are in a somewhat demoralized state partly because of increasing specialization and the use of highly technical language. the fisher king of Lodge's academic Waste Land and the consort of his younger days. entails a large salary but no specific duties and no place of residence. an ear cocked to each side. At one extreme is Swallow. de-203constructionist. Indeed. as the novel progresses. a novel that is at once accessible to . the prize that Zapp and the other world-class academics covet." 5 ) Small World is. Persse and the reader learn first that she is a foundling. less so certainly than Lodge whose four books of criticism demonstrate particularly well the practical applications of literary theory. an airline travel pass.of literary citations in a novel whose purpose is not (to borrow again from Eco) to fix the name of the rose but instead to discover the process of naming by which the rose comes to be known. not to engulf it in abstraction. and Fulvia Morgana play the parts of latterday Saracens and Christians battling for control of the global campus. Zapp. and at the other. liberal-humanist. [The major critics] are unintelligible to the general public. it is so much "a purely conceptual chair" that even as it confers prestige and an enormous salary on the chosen academic. for the important question is not who will be chosen by the selection committee (a euphemism for Arthur Kingfisher) but "what kind of theory wilt be favoured" (234). "'I don't need any more data. Concerning her dissertation on romance literature from Heliodorus to Barbara Cartland. it in fact renders the winner redundant. 4 What Small World accomplishes in its own narrative fashion is precisely what Lodge claims is missing from the current critical debate. not especially disposed towards theory. Losing not their souls but their identities. as has already been noted. Zapp. author of Hazlitt and the Amateur Reader. matters that are no longer apart from but that have become a part of the general contemporary culture." Swallow. What I need is a theory to explain it all'" ( 24 ). of the symbiotic or dialogical relationship between the two. and finally that while her real parents may not have been a royal virgin and a shower of gold. not to replace the individual text. tongue somehow in both cheeks.. then that she has a twin sister. the academics have successfully reduced themselves to the theories they propound: formalist.. partially. von Turpitz. then. Persse is. reader-response.. At the special MLA session devoted to "The Function of Criticism. (Witness the following from a capsule New Yorker review of a recent stage version of Singin' in the Rain: "the absence of the incomparable Gene Kelly becomes a rueful presence. His criticism implies that theory's reason for being is to help explain and clarify. It is a highly readable text that nonetheless does not shy away from matters pertaining to narrative theory. author of Beyond Criticism. Those who are intelligible often have nothing valuable to say" (Interview with Billington). they are Miss Sibyl Maiden and Arthur Kingfisher. and known always and only provisionally. structuralist.

It is a question which none of the panelists can answer. -204method.. in the following Derridean way:" 'You imply." which. glosses. Zapp discovers a flaw.167 ). " 'the deferral of meaning isn't infinite as far as the individual is concerned. Lodge believes. that what matters in the field of critical practice is not truth but difference. but which the panel's chairperson. or even understand. the decrowning act. Comedy reasserts the body. in deconstructionist thinking. -205- .' " Zapp says that although every decoding is another encoding.' " Sounding a good deal like the authorial narrator in How Far Can You GO? (as well as Umberto Eco). or perhaps a dialogical loophole. therefore I am' " (328). Lodge has acknowledged his special attraction to Bakhtin's "rather impressive theoretical case for the comic mode. " 'Death is the one concept you can't deconstruct. Work back from there and you end up with the old idea of the autonomous self. Am I right?'" (319). In an essay first published in 1980. however. claiming that structuralism has not had any significant impact on the general culture whatsoever. However. "performs a very valuable hygienic function: it makes sure that institutions are always subject to a kind of ridiculing criticism. and the collectiveness of the body is what really unites us rather than ideologies" ( Interview with Haffenden 166 . Literary Theory in the University435).Swallow's brand of amateur reading and that demonstrates its preemptive awareness of and interest in Zapp's deconstructive ____________________ 4 Lodge maintains that theory is indispensable to the study of literature. I can die. If everybody were convinced by your arguments. or monologizes. Arthur Kingfisher. though he nonetheless still doubts that the general audience actually understands what is being discussed or.. as in the New Yorker review. alluded to. In Small World it is Persse who performs. 5 New Yorker. the novel seems to raise significant questions not only about Swallow's naivete but about the poststructuralist fashion as well. they would have to do the same as you and then there would be no satisfaction in doing it. In its dialogical doubleness. in a postscript to the reprinting of this essay in Write On. the primary value of literary theory. is "serving the cause of 'better' reading of texts" ( Lodge. 28 April 1986: 4 . To win is to lose the game. of course.. That Lodge should find Bakhtin's theoretical refutation of theory appealing is entirely consistent with the working of his own dialogical imagination. naively and unselfconsciously. Lodge takes the opposite view. Lodge says that the situation has changed. Lodge contends. Explaining why he himself has " 'lost faith in deconstruction. What is clear is that Persse cannot validate Kingfisher's understanding of his. posing to the MLA panel the following question: " 'What follows if everybody agrees with you?'" (319). Whether Kingfisher's question is entirely rhetorical or not is impossible to say.

cannot provide him with the satisfaction and finality he.. Carnival was the true feast of time." Whereas the others prefer to distinguish the humanist goats from the structuralist and poststructuralist sheep (or vice versa).' said the shortish man. or causes. is nonetheless. Because his desire remains unrealized. "Stupid. the feast of becoming. Persse may therefore (if only partly) be understood as the stubborn resi-206due of liberalism's autonomous self in a postliberal. it marked the suspension of all hierarchical rank. Persse remains unsatisfied. He becomes Lodge's version of Beckett's pilgriming voice in the void. It was hostile to all that was immortalized and completed" ( Rabelais 10 ). 'If I can have Eastern Europe. What Lodge does with Persse is at once to ironize and yet to endorse his position. as a dialogical intersection of before and after.Persse's. or at least that part of Petworth that evoked. "small but beyond elimination. having only questions at his disposal. . 'but I daresay people will still get us mixed up' " (331-332).' the tallish man was saying in an English accent. there is always preserved. Persse recalls Bradbury's Petworth. desires. rebirths. privileges. Instead. but at the same time his dissatisfaction is the precondition that allows." Stupid is her magic realist's version of the main character of the early Greek romances. norms. as does the novel itself.. and renewal.sexual. and prohibitions. As Bakhtin has explained: "As opposed to the official feast. Kingfisher. talking to a tallish dark-haired man smoking a pipe. the question left unanswered though still debated. or that was evoked by. Anachronistic yet hopeful. It helps bring about the renewals. change. Katya Princip's folk hero. and reconciliations that proliferate in all of the novel's concluding pages except the final two. Persse can only ask that the dialogue be kept open." as John Hawkes says of The Lime Twig's Michael Banks. Persse functions. 'you can have the rest of the world. curing those who are present of their various forms of impotence -. unable to go on but going on nonetheless. Lodge's carnivalization achieves a quite different aim.. as Bakhtin has explained. one might say that carnival celebrated temporary liberation from the prevailing truth and from the established order. him to continue his quest. His simple question demystifies the critical debate. "a living human being in whom. There the wish-fulfillment of romance finally comes up against the sobering irony of literary realism: the potentially endless form of the one meets the slice-of-life incompleteness of the other. just as his accidentally removing von Turpitz's Dr. a Joycean omnium gatherum to which "Here Comes Everybody. Persse's demystification decrowns. wise yet still naive. and restores. a harking back to a simple past that somehow manages to look ahead to an ongoing present. experienced yet still innocent. demystifying the MLA convention by transforming it into a vast academic carnival.''All right. and intellectual. postmodern age. Lodge performs a similar feat. literary. And a similar intersection occurs when Persse finds his glass being "refilled in an absentminded fashion by a shortish dark-haired man standing nearby with a bottle of champagne in his hand.. Strangelove like black glove reveals as perfectly normal what the everpresent glove made the subject of much mystery and speculation: a merely human hand. question and so.some precious kernel of folk humanity. one always senses a faith in the indestructible power of man in his struggle with nature and with all inhuman forces" ( Dialogic 105 ). who. liberates. although a stock type whose experiences do not change him in any significant way. In this sense..

and trans. I am not sure this is either a fair or an accurate assessment of Carver's fiction. Saul Morson. both within individual texts and between them. Trans. -208- Works Cited Index -209- Works Cited Amis Martin. in a literary age that seems to have witnessed. ------. Ed. Austin: U of Texas P. are so important is that we live. ------. One -207of the reasons that the novels of Bradbury and Lodge. Rev. it is a view against which we can with confidence place the work of Bradbury and Lodge. the author of Changing Westward. but a caution that has flirted with both in an effort to keep their own ailing enterprise afloat and at the crossroads and not yet engulfed by sand. Michael Holquist. Observer 3 Apr. Minneapolis: .not by any rearguard action. by testing it against the innovations of the postmodern age. 1986. has been a caution that has consistently sought to extend fiction's reach and vitality by moving. in the eighties. as well as their criticism.and alternately searching for -. And these may very well be. be put in perspective." Bakhtin: Essays and Dialogues on His Work. two writers who have continued to keep realism alive -. Theirs. Caryl Emerson. 1983: 29. for who else is "Brodge. Chicago: U of Chicago P. but. not by committing themselves to either a conservative aesthetic or conservative (or even reactionary) politics. Ed. Ed.whatever is essentially novelistic and essentially human. but it is a widely held view that does apply all too well to much of what one finds praised in the pages of this week's New York Times Book Review and Times Literary Supplement. 179-82. somewhat hesitantly it is true. one in the same. towards an ever freer and broader and more self-conscious use of the novel's inherently dialogical means. by steadily renegotiating the terms by which realism can continue to be made viable. Problems of Dostoevsky's Poetics. the end of postmodernist experimentation and energy and that is often said to have lapsed into a period of stultifying and regressive realism: Ronald Reagan in the White House and Raymond Carver in Walden Books. then. 1981. or at least experienced. and somewhat skeptically. Lodge and Bradbury have consistently sided with caution over either excess or abandon. instead. of Rates of Exchange. Caryl Emerson and Michael Holquist. while stubbornly holding on to -. towards a plurality of voices and forms. Moreover. The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays. "Extracts from 'Notes' (1970-1971). Their sense of carnivalistic play must. as Bakhtin felt." but the dialogical intersection of two writers whose novels and criticism have enacted the process of doubling and decrowning.They undoubtedly will. however. Bakhtin Mikhail.

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Trans. "Malcolm Bradbury's The History Man: The Novelist as Reluctant Impresario. New York Times Book Review 31 Jan. Mikhail Bakhtin: The Dialogical Principle. Wlad Godzick. Minneapolis: U of . Chicago: U of Chicago P.and Bodies [American title of How Far Can You Go?]. Thiher Allen. 1982: 3. 1984. Todd Richard. 23. Words in Reflection: Modern Language Theory and Postmodern Fiction." Dutch Quarterly Review of AngloAmerican Letters 11 ( 1981): 162182. Todorov Tzvetan.

New Republic 2 May 1960: 19-20. ed. Martin's P. "The Anti-History Men: Malcolm Bradbury and David Lodge." Critical Quarterly 26. Rev.4 ( 1984): 5-32. Tucker Martin. 1982. 1984. Rev. 3rd ed.Minnesota P. Contemporar y Novelists. London: Methuen. 1984. of Eating People Is Wrong. Wilson A. Widdowson Peter. Metafiction: The Theory and Practice of SelfConscious Fiction. You're Barmy. Waugh Patricia. Vinson James. N. New York: St. . of Ginger.

" 65 . Michelangelo.R. 190 . 95 . xiv . 135 . 116 Bloom.Spectator 31 July 1982: 2324. 31 ." 38 . 9-15. 22 Barnes. 192. 129 . 201 . 89 . "Nobody Here in England. 185 . 19 . Cuts. Donald. 14.. 130. "American Literary Expatriates. 60 85 . 96 . 75 . All Dressed Up. Bernard. 53 . 4. 11 . 30 . 49 . 139. 44 . 28. 58 . 92. Malcolm." 13 . 23 . Samuel. Henry. 159 ." 16. 9 . 205 . 187 . 113 . 80 Adams. 157 . Jorge Luis. 192. "Dangerous Pilgrimages. 30-43. 207. 174 . 56 . "The After Dinner Game. 27 . 87 Beckett. 21. 119 . 181 Barthelme. 12 . "Mensonge.108 . 134 .27 . 99 Bergonzi. 17 . 180 . 161. Matthew. 166 . J. 54 . 19. 81-82. Joan. 202 Arnold. 180 . Charles.208 . 186 . Eating People Is Wrong. xv . 48 . 10. 139 . 62. 18. 189 Baez. 161 . 8 Borges. John. Mikhail. 8 . 19. 2 -8. 16 . 200 Bradbury. 16. 162 . 74 . 89 . 22 . Walter.183 . "The Adult Education Class." 106. 6 Booth. Harold. 170 ." 74 . 197 Baudelaire. The History Man. 151 . 28. Wayne. 90 . 91 . 56 . 88. The Novel . 8.20 . 192 Amis. 187. 10 . 94 . 55 . 31. 132 . 106 . The Modern American Novel.92 Amis.96 . Kingsley. 72 . 59 . 192. 72 . Jane. Saul. 92. 74. 19. xv . 191 .xvii . -21853 . 47 . Julian. 37 . 73. "Composition. 176. as critic. 88 Antonini. Martin.29 . 12 . 21 . "A Goodbye for Evadne Winterbottom. 161 Bakhtin. 87. 1 -2. 26 . 8-9. 87 . 24 . 91 . 158 . 11. 73 ." 55. 176 . 206 . 184 Barthes. 89. 21 Barth. 169 Introduction to American Studies. 192. xiv. Roland. 145 . 51 . 137 Bohr. 143 . 11. xiii -xvii. 56. 81 . 11 . 82 . 206 Bellow. 80 Ariosto. 207 Banks." 14 . 4. 45 . 62 . 148 . Ludovico. 87 . 110 . -217- Index Abish. 198 . Modernism. 103 . 4 . 18 . 15 . 154 Austen. 70 . 182. 49. 88 .130 . "An Age of Parody. 63 ." 92 . on Lodge. 86 . 28 . 90 ." 43 . Nils. "A Dog Engulfed in Sand. 73 . 182 . 169 .

Jacques. 89. xv. Two Poets. Joseph. 6 . 27. 197 Calvino. 7. 15 Carlyle. 74. 7 Cunningham. 39 . 163 . 53 Burden. Phogey!. 61. Jonathan. Seymour. The Social Context of Modern English Literature. 108 Butor. Jim. 6. 134 Eco. 78 . John. 80 Capote. 158 .. Theo. 11. "Second Countries. R. 192 Cheever. 139 Burroughs. 161 Compton-Burnett." 192. 16 Burton. 11 Conrad. 86 108 . John. 37 Brown. 21. "Wanting Names for Things.L.S. 205 D'haen. 60. Ivy. Valentine. 12. Italo. 191 Dreiser. 22. John. Stephen. 25 Dickins. 44. 200 . 84 85. 71 Chatman. Rates of Exchange. 85 Clark. Possibilities. Jacques. Noam.. Baron ( Frederick William Rolfe). Katerina. Fyodor. 3 . Stepping Westward. 92 Braine. 136 . Len. Umberto. 207 . 89. O. Charlie. Robert. 137 . 205 Ehrmann. 208 Chaplin.10 . What Is a Novel?. 109 . 173 Duckett. 48 . 87 Derrida.. 162 Culler. 38 . 174 Corvo. Michel. 75 .. 4 . 11.Today. Thomas. 135 Crane. 135 Coover. 87 . Charles. 23 Cage. 44 -59. 42 Chaucer. 90 Church. Theodore. 72. 6. xvii . 53 Doctorow. William. 7. 29 . Truman. Judy. 61. 203. 107 Chomsky. 21. Norman. 11 Byatt. Robert. 160 Crumb. 74. 69 Dante Alighieri. 59 . Who Do You Think You Are?. Geoffrey. 62 . 60. Raymond. 192 .. 174 Dostoevsky. 9 . 138 Cartland. 61 . 190 . Barbara." 60. 200. 126 Deighton. Robert S. Michael. 11-12. 9. 1 . xv. 93 . 203 Carver. 27. 72. "Who Do You Think You Are?". 22. 198 Collins. A. E. 192.

85 Genette. 95. 57 Federman. T. . Jean. Ralph Waldo. 117 . 200 Emerson.. Melvin J. 39. 192 Faulkner. 26 Forster. 87. Gerard. 64 . 75 Foucault. Arundell. Zsa Zsa. 71. 17 . xiv . William. Raymond. William.. John. 181 . 87 Feiffer. 3 -219Fitzgerald. 37 . 95 Gass. 50 . 120 . 87 Gardner. 4 . 198. 31 . 59 Fletcher. 197. 12. F. 8. 51 Friedman. Henry. 162 Fielding. 123 Esdaile.M. 34 . 106 Franklin. Michel.S. 82 . 192 Fowles. 8 . 12 . 23 . William.. 110 . Scott. Benjamin. 17 . John. xiv . Walter. 25 . Jules. 11 . 22 Excalibur. 19 . 192. E. 41 Gabor. 49 Empson.Eliot. 138 Evans. John. 17 Genet.

116 . John. 136 . 182 Grass. xiv. 170 Gogol. . 56 . 4. 48 Golding. 194 Gindin.P. Ronald. Martin. James. Nikolai. Francisco.. 23 Hawkes. 138 Grimm. William. 192 Halio. Jakob and Wilhelm. 199 Hayman. 207 Hawthorne. 4. Nathaniel. 51. 91 Graff. 81 -82. L. 135 .184 . 23 Goya. 185 . 84 Green. Peter. 169 . Jay. 53 Greene. Graham. 74 Handke. 191 . 69 . 30 . Gunther. 107 Harlequin Romances. 80 . 11. Gerald. 11. 199 Hartley. 14 .

W. 143 . 155 . Henry. 173 . 9 . 50. xv . Ernest.108 Hegel. 49 . Park. Michael. Aldous. 104 ." 51 Huxley. 79 . 85 Heisenberg. 173. 7 . Pope. 108. 137.. 80 Holquist. Pope. 10 . 166 John Paul I. G. 87 Hemingway. 161 . 203 Heller. 69. Dennis. 192 Jackson. 198 Honan. 52 . 73 . 35 Iser.F. 84. 135. David. 106. Joseph. 6 Heliodorus. 135136 James. 51. Werner. Wolfgang. 137 Hockney. 160 . 4. 82. . 135. 111 112 "Howdy Doody. 56. 190 John Paul II.

Julia. 156 .S. 173. 109 . 206 Jung. 155. 50. Frank. Jerome. 14. 151 . 186 . 148 . 111. Soren. Christopher. 17. Jack. 11. Franz. 68 . 136. Ann. xv. 170 Kerouac. 163 . . 66 Kafka. 11. 153 .190 Johnson. Carl. 96 . 170 Johnson. Michiko. 8. 7 Landers. 183 Lasch. xv Kristeva. 109 Klinkowitz.. 135. 145 . 53 Kierkegaard . 133 Joyce. Barbara. 144 . 129 . Samuel. 161. B. 62 Kermode. 202 . 135 Kakutani. 197 . 192. 7 Johnson. xvii . 167 . 143. 113 . James.

. 1 .2 .208 .27 . 191208. 27. James. 63 . 135. xiv . 190. 119 ." 188 . 29. 130 . The Picturegoers. 144 .15 . 110. 194 . The Novelist at the Crossroads. 129 LeCarre. ing. 143. The Modes of Modern Writ. xv . Ginger. 50.155 . 182 . 44 . 14. 192. 156 . 112. 143 . 166 . xv. 172 . F. 72 . 58 . Vincent. 172 190 .H. 27 McCarthy. 8 . . 157. 192. Neil. 129 . 15. 4 . 18 . 136 . 109 . 180 Leavis. 158. 110 . 145 . 192. 14. 201 . 181 . as critic. 16 . 16 -220Lodge. 115. 26. 22.29 .171 . 7 Lessing. The British Museum Is Falling Down. How Far Can You Go?. 55 . 27.9 ." 167 McCaffery. Larry. 10 . 143. 11 . 167 . 142 . xv. "Where It's At: The Poetry of Psychobabble. 21. 58. John. 11 Mailer. 193 . 8. 59 Marcel. 137. Doris. 79 . 22 . 132-141 . David. 55. 158 . 21 . 120 . Mary. 30 McEwan. 192 . 52 . 14. You're Barmy. 189 . Small World. 205 . 110. 156. "Catholic Fiction Since the Oxford Movement. 27. 110. 115 131 . 88 . 1.4. Norman. Out of the Shelter. 23 McFarlane. 187 . 24 . 191 . Bernard. 109. 132. 116. Changing Places. Language of Fiction. 157 . 31 . 134 . 9.R. 87 Leitch. 116 . 26 . 172. on Bradbury. 182 Lawrence. 137 . 112 . 153 . D. 161 . 109-115. 17 . 14 -21. 108 . 117 Malamud..

Gabriel, 109 Martin, Jay, 106 Marx Brothers, 162 Melville, Herman, 48 , 57 , 87 , 160 , 163 , 178 Michaels, Leonard, 167 Miller, Henry, 160 Milton, John, 161, 202 Mitchell, Julian, 188 Morgan, Edwin, 55 Morrison, Blake, 103 Moynahan, Brian, 199 Murdoch, Iris, 10, 11, 12 , 14, 21, 23, 26 Nabokov, Vladimir, 46 , 50 , 137, 163 Norris, Frank, 173 Osborne, John, 37 , 115, 116 Parker, Patricia, 199 Paul VI, Pope, 173, 190 Peirce, Charles

Saunders, 6 , 202 Percy, Walker, 62 , 109 Peter, Paul, and Mary, 161 Poe, Edgar Allan, 89 , 192 Poirier, Richard, 86 Powell, Anthony, 23 Propp, Vladimir, 106 Pynchon, Thomas, 8, 87, 88, 96 , 99 , 104 , 178 Rabate, Jean-Michel, 25 Rabelais, François, 3 Reagan, Ronald, 60 , 208 Reich, Wilhelm, 66 Roth, Philip, 11 Ruskin, John, 137 Saporta, Marc, 170 Scholes, Robert, 15, 19 , 169 Schorer, Mark, 1920 Shakespeare,

William, 161, 192, 200 Shaw, George Bernard, 65 -221 Skinner, B.F., 52 , 66 Smollett, Tobias, 3 Snow, C.P., 11 , 135 Sorrentino, Gilbert, 14 Southern, Terry, 192 Spark, Muriel, 11, 21 Stein, Gertrude, 161 Steiner, George, 73 , 192 Sterne, Laurence, 3, 15 , 137 Stevenson, Randall, 22 Stevick, Philip, 11 Sukenick, Ronald, xiv Sullivan, Jack, 185 Synge, John, 192 Tanner, Tony, 8 , 86 Thackeray, William Makepeace, 75 , 189

34 Twain. 176 177 . 23 . Richard. 38 Trilling. Joseph. 11 Watt. Allen. 96 Vonnegut. Jessie. Evelyn. 31 . 4 . John. . Martin. 87 . John. 84 Todorov. 182 Weizenbaum. 91 . 174 Waugh. 30 . 195 Weston. 98 . 69 Tucker. 60 Theroux. 21. Margaret. 88 Todd. Henry David. 14 Waugh. Lionel. 160 Updike. 5 Treece.Thatcher. 199 Whitman. 198 . Henry. 48 . 49 . 32 . 63 Wain. Kurt. 86. 179 Thiher. 77 . Ian. Tzvetan. Paul. 19 . 138 . 88. 192. 27 Thoreau. 15. Patricia. Mark. 63 . 22.

. Peter. 108. 108 Wilde. Studies in the Novel. 138. 180 Wilson. Mas'ud. 173 -222ROBERT A. and Critique. William Butler.25 .N. Twentieth Century Literature. Angus. He was a Fulbright Lecturer at Warsaw University from 1985 to 1987 and currently teaches at Daemen College in Amherst. Virginia. 23. 135 Wordsworth. William. 100 Zola. 160. 133 Wilson. 118 Yeats. Emile. 31. 23. A. 161. -223- . 49.Walt. MORACE is the author of John Gardner: An Annotated Secondary Bibliography and co-editor (with Kathryn VanSpanckeren) of John Gardner: Critical Perspectives. 192. His articles on contemporary and late nineteenth-century writers have appeared in such journals as Modern Fiction Studies. 139 Woolf. New York. 11. Oscar. 163 Widdowson. 195 Zavarzadeh.

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